Marin Software's official blog

3 Essential Ways to Optimize for Online and Offline Conversions

Kye Mou
|
January 28, 2014

Brands that seamlessly tie offline conversions to online events are positioned for success, but it's easier said than done!

Most businesses have a wide variety of customer touch points: website visits, social media interactions, phone calls, email, proposals, quotes, surveys, tech support, ordering, delivery, you name it. While it's terrific to have so many diverse touch points, they can be a source of great complexity for digital advertisers.

A gap between the online and offline can result in an incomplete picture of paid search performance, as downstream revenue from offline conversions remains unattributed to the keywords and creative that drove those conversions. On top of that, not all interactions result in revenue conversions. The inability to define unique revenue values for each event and tie them to a single customer and keyword results in a bidding strategy that ignores lifetime customer value and fails to calculate optimal keyword bids.

So how can search marketers bridge the gap? Here are three tips for optimizing for online and offline conversions:

  1. Track customers with order IDs. Assigning order IDs allows advertisers to bridge the gap between their data warehouses or CRM systems and online customer activities. Search marketers are not only able to attribute offline conversion and revenue back to the paid click and subsequent online event, but they can also modify attributed revenue based on refunds, cancellations, and other downstream revenue adjustments.
  2. Optimize for multiple conversion events. Different consumers will represent different value to your business. For example, a visitor who requests a quote may be worth more than a visitor who signs up for a newsletter. The flexibility to assign a unique value to non-revenue conversion events in this scenario enables advertisers to measure the true value of each visitor and keyword to their business. Tying these events to publisher data allows search marketers to react quickly to top-of-the-funnel activity, and measure the impact of website engagement on downstream revenue and lifetime customer value.
  3. Calculate optimal bids with portfolio optimization. Maximizing conversions or revenue across a set budget requires making spend tradeoffs between keywords within a portfolio. Calculating optimal bids for all keywords simultaneously enables search marketers to maximize online and offline conversions and revenue across their account while taking into consideration business goals that vary across campaigns, products, services, and other business requirements. This approach to bidding requires an automated solution that can capitalize on new keyword opportunities without an expensive "learning" period.


These tips are adapted from our white paper, Navigating the New Paid Search Landscape. It's a must-read for any advertiser in the financial services sector, and we also recommend it for marketers operating in a particularly competitive market.

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