Your Expert Guide to Online to Offline Attribution

The holy grail for any advertiser is proof that your advertising resulted in sales. For e-commerce advertisers, such attribution is a fairly easy process. Tracking pixels monitor consumer behavior online and can tell you which of your customers saw your ads before purchasing, how many ads they saw, when they saw the ads, and so on. For advertisers in verticals where purchases largely occur offline, like QSR, auto, or CPG, online to offline attribution is more complicated. Here’s the key info you need to know to be an offline attribution pro. Key Attribution Terms to Know

  • Beacon – a small radio transmitter that connects to Bluetooth-enabled devices, like smartphones. It can be used to capture location data.
  • Device ID – a unique, anonymous ID assigned to each smartphone.
  • Hashing – a process to anonymize user data before using it in advertising so that no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) changes hands.
  • Lift – a measurement that compares consumers who saw your ad and performed an action (like entering a store or making a purchase) to consumers who didn’t see your ad and did the same thing, showing you the impact of your ad on consumer behavior.

Types of Online to Offline Attribution There are a few different types of online to offline attribution methods available. Foot Traffic – this method measures how many people who saw your ads went into one of your stores or a store where your product is sold. Your attribution partner will capture mobile device IDs through beacon technology and match these IDs back to your campaign. Point-of-Sale Data – the point-of-sale (POS) data attribution method measures credit card purchases made in one of your locations. The credit card company will usually partner with a data company to tie purchase information back to your campaign. Panel Data – this method captures user location data through an opt-in panel. Users are asked about their locations through an app on their phone, and this data is tied to a unique ID, which is then matched back to your campaign. Varied Data Source Matching – this method combines several types of data to create a proprietary attribution method. Goodway’s Auto Purchase Attribution is an example of this attribution type, as it combines Polk DMV purchase data with Oracle household ID data and our campaign data together to create an attribution report. Combining Online Metrics with Offline Attribution Just because offline attribution is possible, it doesn’t mean you should entirely abandon online metrics like an eCPA. Tracking key online activities is still useful as a proxy for advertising success and will help your media team to make sure that they are reaching the correct audience. Additionally, most of these online to offline attribution solutions can’t be tied back to specific tactics or placements, so you can’t use that data for optimization. Your best bet is to combine both your online metrics with your offline attribution to continue to refine your advertising strategy and measure the impact on your bottom line. To learn more about our automotive online to offline attribution solution, Auto Purchase Attribution, reach out to us at