Retailers and brands typically measure online ads with online results: cost per click, cost per action, cost per sale.
But in a great move forward Helsinki-based shopping analytics firm RapidBlue recently tested the effects of online ads on offline sales. And, surprisingly, it found a strong correlation: double-digit increases in both the number of shoppers and the amount of time they spent in store when stores ran Google AdWords campaigns.
“In fact, we found that the brick-and-mortar impact of online ads could be bigger than their online impact,” RapidBlue chief operating office Sampo Parkkinen told VentureBeat today.
This result is astonishing and could upend the way the online advertising industry traditionally tracks costs and measures return on investment. An online campaign that doesn’t seem to be paying for itself could, if this study is correct, be providing offline benefits.