In the wake of the digital revolution, direct mail and other offline forms of media have suffered a lack of investment. Media integration is something that is often discussed but rarely practised; marketers are often keen to boast an integrated, innovative approach, yet tend to spend their budgets through digital channels without any consideration of how to measure the level of web traffic and what has been its catalyst, namely offline media.
Whilst the recent surge in online investment has certainly influenced spend within direct marketing, a well targeted direct mail campaign is one of the most effective drivers to increase online traffic and then convert that traffic to leads. Nobody disputes the power of online as a communication channel but because it is difficult to attribute visits on a website back to offline advertising, there is little understanding of the power of offline channel generating online traffic.
So, in an initiative to assess the split between online and offline response collaborative publisher and door drop agency TILT carried out its own bespoke case study, the first of its kind, to show a true measure of the affect of offline advertising driving online response.
To produce a pure test that had no legacy of response to a website from previous advertising, TILT created a new brand called QuoteGenie. QuoteGenie acted as an introducer using bespoke 0800 numbers with an associated website. An advert was placed in the back half of TILT’s consumer guide ‘asrecommended insurance’, and 600,000 mailpacks were sent out to motor renewal prospects in January 2008.
The calls were routed to a call lead manager and rerouted to FSA registered insurers according to product and criteria. The website used was www.quotegenie.co.uk and unique visitors to the site were accurately measured. The advert did not appear anywhere else except asrecommended insurance. The website was indexed in Google and Yahoo! and the only PPC carried out was on the term ‘QuoteGenie’ to help consumers find the site if they searched for the brand as a result of seeing the advert.
The research found that out of the 1,796 consumers that responded to the QuoteGenie advert, 41% of consumers responded by visiting the website, and 59% chose to pick up the phone. This not only proved that offline publications such as asrecommended Insurance produce significant response online in addition to phone response, but that more and more consumers prefer to communicate online rather than via the phone. Offline media generates significant web traffic that brands find extremely difficult to measure due to response legacy issues and the general difficulties associated with understanding what prompted consumers to search online for a brand.
Brands using offline media such as direct mail and door-to-door need to apportion a certain percentage of online response back to offline media to accurately measure performance within the media mix and realise the true value of these media vehicles.
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