Big Data: Connecting Online Advertising to Offline Sales

bigdataAs an agency we do a lot of work with consumer products and in particular commodity boards including Highbush Blueberries, Florida Sweet Corn, Pure Canadian Maple Syrup and many others. We’ve managed to grow the digital/social presence for these organizations over the years and have continually received investment to grow and maintain their digital/social ecosystem for them.

With clients, agencies and marketers getting smarter questions begin to arise around digital’s “true value,” ROI and contribution to offline sales. How far does an advertisement, like, pin or retweet really contribute to sales? When offline sales are a brand’s only form of commerce, addressing questions of this nature is a bit challenging. As technology has evolved, the ability to connect online to offline is not a thing of the past and can now be a part of a brand’s digital strategy.

Connecting online activity and engagement around Blueberries, Corn or Maple Syrup to offline sales is still emerging and is really quite new. It is quite a lofty goal, which some digital channels may not yet be able to fully connect. For display advertising, the use of big data and sophisticated targeting technology now allows us to target produce buyers (or whatever specific product you sell) and measure how effective those ad campaigns contributed to actual product purchase.

What’s involved with big data and how does it work?

Big Data Flaws?

As the use of big data has emerged over the last few years many challenges reside in this tactic’s future. The overall use of cookies, privacy legislation and online tracking laws are ever-changing. Tracking users from “household” to other devices is still being worked out and not all digital channels or buyers are covered in this model.

However, big data is here to stay and compared to targeting and measurement tactics of the past, this use of technology is pretty amazing and a solid step forward into fully calculating and attributing digital efforts to offline sales.

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