ATTRIBUTION CASE STUDY: MARCH 2017
In Spring 2013, a leading online retailer of custom printed marketing and promotional materials tapped SMI to help them best capitalize on ROI-centric direct response and brand response radio. The company was established in the digital space, especially for affordable, quality business cards, but they were growing, and wanted to take advantage of their market momentum and expand the offline marketing channels they used for lead generation and customer acquisition.
The company was established in the digital space…and wanted to take advantage of their market momentum and expand the(ir) offline marketing channels.
When it came to expanding their advertising channels, radio was a clear choice for its reach, cost-effectiveness, and tracking and targeting capabilities. SMI was a clear choice as a radio partner for its proven expertise not just in radio, but its prowess in using radio to drive and capture online leads. The ecommerce site’s goals were to increase exposure to their brand and awareness of their product line; identify the offers, promotions, and products that are most successful in building their business; and generate leads and convert customers at a profitable, sustainable cost per order (CPO).
SMI’s media planners and buyers went to work developing a comprehensive testing matrix covering various radio formats in local markets across the country, as well as on nationally syndicated radio. The creative team developed spots with different approaches and messaging strategies, each one featuring key brand and product points identified by the client. Each spot was tested against the same target demos in two-week intervals to get clear, accurate data on the effectiveness of each spot and station.
To attribute online leads to radio, SMI utilized memorable 4-digit promo codes. Listeners are directed to the ecommerce site, where they enter the promo code to redeem the offer advertised. From this initial data captured in the first weeks and months of the campaign, SMI’s media team honed in on the formats, stations and ads that drove the greatest response rates and highest conversion. From there, media and creative were optimized to capitalize on profitability and efficiencies.
With the optimized creative and media plan in place, and the client ready to scale the campaign based on promising results, SMI went into phase two of their attribution analysis, a specialized capability that sets it apart from other radio agencies.
When working with such a prominent ecommerce site that generates leads from several advertising channels all driving to their website, it’s critical to have a system in place that appropriately attributes leads to the source. SMI has invested millions in understanding and effectively tracking this data, and has its own team of analysts who spend each day looking at the bigger big picture of a campaign, beyond CPO or other metric of measurement.
SMI worked closely with the client’s analytics team to track several levels of data on the ecommerce site. Via a post purchase survey, customers were given a simple drop down menu to select which advertising channel they heard about the offer from, allowing radio leads to be attributed even when customers didn’t enter a promo code. Zip codes were also collected, to further source leads back to stations and markets.
By utilizing advanced analytics and best practices in tracking online leads from offline sources, SMI and the client determined that there’s a multiplier for calculating leads attributed to radio. Over time the impact of radio has improved leading to a larger multiplier. For every customer who visits the site and enters a radio promo code, four more customers will hear the offer on the radio and place an order on the site without using the individual code.
Combined with the CPO achieved through tracking promo codes, the attribution to radio from other sources of data have made radio a valuable marketing channel for the ecommerce site. Now in SMI’s fourth year of working with the company, the radio campaign continues to evolve and deliver profitable results.