Web Analytics – Tool For Measuring Off Line Efforts

Web Analytics, as the name suggests, is used for measuring and analyzing the web traffic. Online campaigns can be effectively measured by almost all of the web analytics tool in the market.
To measure online campaigns you assign a unique campaign identifier at the end of the landing url and then use your analytics tool to see how many people responded to the end and then track them all the way to end conversion. It is easy (sort of) to calculate your Return on Investment on online campaigns.

You can use the same method to track offline campaigns, print, in-store display ads, billboards etc.

Here is how it works

  1. Create a campaign tracking code(s) to track this campaign just like you do in online campaign
  2. Create a easy to remember unique URL e.g. http://www.SeattleIndian.com/saveondining
  3. The URL created in step 2 above redirect the users to actual landing page passing the campaign variables.
  4. When a user arrives on page created in step 2, the user will be redirect as in step 3 and it will appear in the web analytics tool as the user is coming from a campaign.
  5. Add the URL created in step 2 to your print advertising and you are done.

Example:
I will be using Google analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics) for this example

  1. You have a campaign called “Save on Dining” running as a Half page color in local newspaper
  2. Your campaign variables are
    utm_source=Newspaper
    utm_medium=Print
    utm_content=HalfPageColorAd
    utm_campaign=SaveOnDining

  3. Create a easy to remember unique Vanity URL e.g. http://www.SeattleIndian.com/saveondining
  4. The URL created in step 2 above redirect the users to actual landing page passing the campaign variables.
    http://www.seattleIndian.com/dining.asp?utm_source=Newspaper&utm_medium=Print
    &utm_content=HalfPageColorAd&utm_campaign=SaveOnDining
  5. When a user arrives on http://www.SeattleIndian.com/saveondining will be redirect to http://www.seattleIndian.com/dining.asp?utm_source=Newspaper&utm_medium=Print
    &utm_content=HalfPageColorAd&utm_campaign=SaveOnDining

Note: You can also set some variables on the Vanity URL web analytics tracking code instead of redirecting to a new URL.

Add the URL created in step 2 to your print advertising and you are done.

So why did I write this article? Well, there are two reasons why I decided to write this article today.

  1. I have been involved with tracking campaigns for a fortune 50 company and this topic has come several times. So I had to write this one day.
  2. I just read an article by Kevin Newcomb (http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3623461) about how one company successfully tracked offline campaigns so I thought this is a good time to write it so that users not only know that it can be done but how it can be done.

As always, I would like to hear your experiences with offline campaign tracking.

Originally Posted at : Web Analytics – Tool For Measuring Off Line Efforts – Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

3 thoughts on “Web Analytics – Tool For Measuring Off Line Efforts”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks, that’s a clever way to do it. I just have a question:

    if I see an advertisement like that, I am normally too lazy to type in the full URL and just type the homepage URL. Because normally there is a link on the homepage to it. But I guess it makes sense.

    Would it be an idea to filter out/segment people like me who don’t want to type in the full URL? F.e. by making a button somewhere upstream, where I could show that I have seen the ad?

    Thanks again,
    Vincent

    1. Hi Vincent,

      That is actually a great idea. Though we will have to make some adjustments to account for those people who will never click on that button. Another idea is to use a unique domain for each campaign so even if you just type the homepage url you are still counted. Once a user lands on that page, he/she can be redirected seamlessly.

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