25 Oct Offline Impacts Online? Now That Google Says So, It Must Be True.

For those of you old enough to remember, the early days of the “internets” boiled down to three letters: AOL.

Yep, every major brand jumped on board “America Online.” And they made darn sure that they referenced their AOL destination in their broadcast media.

Back in the day, you didn’t see or hear a national TV or radio ad without a tagline that reminded everyone that they could find the advertiser online at “AOL Keyword: Our Name.”

Why did brands do this? Because it was consistent with a basic, commonly understood marketing law: recall matters. Especially when it comes to the web.  Because building recall in offline media helps brands become more memorable, favorable and, of course, findable when it comes to doing an online Search.

But something’s happened over the last ten years that’s created a peculiar kind of amnesia about mass media’s effect on the web (yeah, ironic, huh?).

In our opinion, the cause of that amnesia is “last click attribution.” That is, giving Google all the credit for all the traffic to a brand or business website after a consumer conducts a Google search.

As if the TV or radio commercial or billboard or magazine ad that caused them to search in the first place didn’t matter.  As if moving a consumer from unaware to aware…or from a passive state to an active one…no longer occurs…or is no longer important.

And despite a flurry of more recent posts about the fallacy of last click attribution (like here, here and here) its lingering effect is like a Marketing Theory Zombie: it just won’t die.

But now that Zombie may have officially been put on un-life support.

Because Google itself has just published a white paper that finally gives traditional media the credit it deserves.

In it, Google asserts that “it’s no secret that mass media drives consumers online.” And that “the mass media-to-online action funnel isn’t just a theory. Studies agree that TV – and Radio – drive consumers to search both branded and generic terms and to visit advertiser websites directly.”

And they published their own purchase funnel demonstrating this effect:

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 12.54.37 PM

So what took Google so long to openly connect these dots?

Our theory is that they finally have a way to make money on what’s been obvious since the beginning of the web.

You see, Google just bought a company called Adometry, which is going to charge brands to help them measure TV and Radio’s assumed impact on Search and website traffic.

Ah, now it’s all making sense.

So the next time you’re meeting with your SEO/PPC team you should have them pore over that Adometry whitepaper and figure out a way to create their own way of measuring what’s actually happening in the real world: the significant online impact from offline media.

That’s a point worth recalling, don’t you think?

PS. If you don’t have the time to meet with Adometry, we’ll be happy to recap our conversation with them and send you a copy of their whitepaper.

 

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