Offline media optimization is the analytical process of collecting and matching data from across the marketing mix to offline channels in order to gauge offline media’s impact on engagement and ROI. This aligned data can then be used to evaluate the effectiveness of offline media and individual offline touchpoints at engaging consumers and driving them closer to conversion. Based on success rates, marketers can then optimize their offline marketing by focusing on the channels and touchpoints that provide their organization with the highest ROI.

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The Importance of Offline Media Optimization in Today’s Consumer-Driven Landscape

Today, consumers engage with brands across a variety of online and offline marketing channels before arriving at a buying decision. However, this omnichannel landscape is oversaturated. In fact, it’s estimated that the average consumer experiences around 10,000 marketing messages a day.

All of these messages have left consumers spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing one brand over another. As a result, consumers expect marketers to provide a seamless customer experience that  connects them with resonant products or services. Furthermore, they expect them to do so in a way that merges online and offline media into a cohesive omnichannel marketing experience.

Marketers who use offline channels like print and broadcast media in their marketing campaigns must therefore understand how to incorporate this offline media into a modern omnichannel strategy. Specifically, marketers need to understand the following aspects of their offline media:

  • Which offline touchpoints consumers are engaging with and when
  • Where offline media fits into the overarching customer journey a brand provides
  • How offline channels impact the effectiveness of additional channels across the marketing mix
  • What creative messaging has the highest impact toward spurring engagement

The end result of offline media optimization? Offline media that works in conjunction with additional online and offline channels to help drive engagements and meet consumers on the right channel at the right time.

The Challenges of Offline Media Optimization

Like any marketing optimization effort, offline media optimization requires a significant amount of data and quality analytics.  However, unlike digital channels, where data and analytics are readily available, offline optimization requires a variety of more complex datasets and comprehensive analytics capabilities. In order to gain the insights needed to optimize offline media, marketers need to be able to bridge the gap between their online and offline measurements—attributing the offline media that helped spur engagement across the online and offline touchpoints that make up the consumer journey. To do this, marketers need a wide range of big data that can help indicate which online engagements and conversions correspond with offline media.

With this in mind, there are a variety of tools and resources marketers need access to in order to effectively collect, distill, and leverage data that leads to optimized offline media.

Tools Needed for Offline Media Optimization

To effectively optimize offline media and generate increased ROI, marketers need four core capabilities:

  1. A Wide Scope of Varying Datasets: In order to understand how offline media touchpoints are performing, marketers need to collect a wide range of data. From there, they can match the online engagements and conversions with the offline media that helped them along their customer journey. Specifically, marketers need access to:
    • Subscriber lists matched to geographic regions
    • Television and cable box subscriptions that highlight advertising reach and air time
    • Radio broadcast range and zip code data
    • Multi-touch attribution measurements and engagement metrics across devices
    • Brand authority measurements, marketing mix models, creative messaging, market opportunity insights (consumer trends, external factors, etc.)
  2. Modern Marketing Analytics: With such a wide range of data sets needed to accurately optimize offline media, the second common issue many marketers face is having access to a marketing analytics platform capable of collecting, analyzing, and distilling that data. Think about it this way: data in and of itself does not lead to optimization—the insights that are derived from that data do. Marketers leveraging obsolete martech without the capability to generate accurate insights will lack the ability to optimize their offline media accurately.
  3. Real-Time Marketing Measurements: Modern marketing analytics must also have the capability to provide real-time marketing insights that are generated in-campaign. There are a multitude of factors that have the potential to rapidly impact marketing efforts, and offline media is no exception. In order to ensure that optimization efforts can shift and scale alongside consumer trends and external factors, marketers need to ensure they have the capability for in-campaign marketing measurements that can identify optimization opportunities the moment they arise.
  4. Marketing Measurement Models: If a data analytics platform is what organizes and distills data into insights, measurement models are the math dictating how an analytics platform goes about generating those insights. When the measurement models leveraged are inaccurate, the analytics are incorrect. When analytics are incorrect, marketing attribution suffers. Without accurate marketing attribution, offline media optimization efforts are backed by false data, leading to misplaced marketing spend and poor ROI.

Questions to Consider When Optimizing Offline Media

The questions marketers should ask when attempting to optimize their offline media focus on three key areas: setup, measurement, and implementation. Understanding the questions surrounding offline media optimization will make the process efficient, accurate, and effective.

Questions When Preparing to Optimize Offline Media:

  • What are the primary goals offline media is being optimized to facilitate?
  • Who are the key stakeholders that will head optimization efforts?
  • What data is needed to accurately measure offline media?
  • What models will be used to distill that data?
  • Do we have the appropriate analytics platform?

Questions When Measuring Offline Media for Optimization:

  • What measurement models do we plan on leveraging?
  • Are we taking external factors into consideration when measuring offline media?
  • Do we account for creative messaging?
  • Are we measuring offline impact at an individual, person level?
  • Are we measuring marketing efforts in real time? 

Questions to Ask When Implementing Offline Media Optimization Efforts:

  • Do we have an assigned cadence for implementing changes across offline channels?
  • Are the changes we plan to make going to help or hinder customer experience?
  • Do we know where each online channel is best served across the consumer journey?
  • Are we optimizing offline in conjunction with online channels?
  • Do these optimizations help provide omnichannel marketing experiences?

Steps for Successful Offline Media Optimization

To effectively optimize offline media, marketers should consider incorporating the following steps into their efforts:

  1. Unify Existing Marketing Measurements: In order to understand the role offline media plays across the omnichannel marketing landscape, it’s crucial that siloed marketing measurements align into a unified marketing measurement (UMM) strategy. UMM integrates existing marketing analytics and models to provide a comprehensive view into the performance of marketing campaigns. This view allows marketers to understand where their offline media is being engaged with and at which stage of the sales funnel.
  2. Integrate Online and Offline Data: In order to generate the insights needed for effective offline optimization, marketers need to ensure that they’ve integrated the appropriate data sets from both their online and offline channels. In doing so, marketers will be able to leverage their analytics platform to align both data sets, helping attribute the engagements and conversions directly related to offline media engagement. 
  3. Develop Appropriate Online/Offline Modeling: As we mentioned earlier, measurement models are the instructions for your analytics measurements. Bad math translates to poor optimization outcomes. In order to ensure the insights used to optimize offline media are correct, marketers need to develop online and offline measurement models capable of distilling massive quantities of data, aligning offline and online data down to individual engagements at the person level.
  4. Leverage Modern Marketing Analytics: In order to ensure that measurements, data, and modeling accurately indicate opportunities for offline media optimization, it’s crucial that marketers leverage a marketing analytics platform capable of unified measurement, accurate modeling, and real-time campaign insights.

Additional Tips and Resources

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