Solving Problems in Advertising Attribution for TV, Radio, and Other Traditional Media
Creating a fantastic ad campaign is one thing—evaluating its effectiveness is an entirely different challenge. Many businesses face problems in advertising attribution because they exclusively use traditional marketing tools like TV commercials and radio ads. If that sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place!
What Does “Attribution” Mean In Advertising?
When we talk about attribution, we’re referring to identifying and assessing the marketing touchpoints that contribute to your company’s goals. For example, a customer looking for a new car may see a Ford ad on Facebook that prompts them to visit the Ford website. If they purchase something on Ford’s site, Facebook gets the credit for the conversion—the sale is “attributed” to the Facebook ad campaign.
Marketing attribution gives you a bird’s-eye view of your multi-channel sales pipeline, enabling you to track the consumer’s experience from start to finish. You can then evaluate how effective various touchpoints are along the way, such as:
- Radio ads
- TV ads
- Press releases
- Direct email
Why Is It Difficult to Track Attribution in Traditional Methods?
Tracking attribution can be challenging, especially if you utilize a wide-reaching marketing approach. Thousands of potential customers could see your billboard or TV ad every day. How can you tell what prompted them to visit your website or make a purchase?
Traditional attribution methods make tracking the sales process significantly tougher. Historically, they’ve been less accurate and scalable than digital marketing methods. You’ve probably faced many problems in advertising attribution when measuring offline events and ad campaign effectiveness in the past.
Let’s take radio ads as an example. People often listen to the radio during their commutes, and you could reach a vast audience with a radio commercial. You could see your sales boom afterward, but you might never know how much your radio ads impacted those conversions.
How Do Traditional Advertising Methods Typically Track Attribution?
Traditional advertising tracks attribution using online and offline tools that help companies know what’s working and what’s not. Together, they can create a robust strategy for tracking marketing activity.
Third-party Insights from Edo
Edo provides third-party insights using decades of data from search engine history, commercial run times, and many other media-related data points. This information allows you to match the specific times your ads aired with search engine data from the same period to identify spikes in searches for your brand, products, or related terms.
With insights from Edo, you can show how effective your media placements and marketing campaigns are. You can also analyze competitors to better understand what works to make more informed decisions on future ad buys.
You can use tools like TV Squared to understand better how ads impact your site traffic. When your ads go live, connect your ad delivery schedule with tracking scripts on your website and let TV Squared work its magic. The pixel in your website identifies any immediate traffic spikes and matches those with times your marketing campaigns aired.
QR codes are a type of barcode you can scan with your smartphone or tablet’s camera. They allow you to track marketing activity across multiple channels, including TV, radio, and online videos. Companies often use QR codes to minimize problems in advertising attribution.
How do QR codes work for traditional media? A person sees an ad on TV or a printed handout and scans the QR code to access more information. The advertiser’s website can then use its built-in tracking system to monitor consumers who scanned the code.
Customized Phone Numbers
Traditional advertising methods often rely on customized phone numbers. Advertisers use these to track the number of calls their advertisements generate to determine how well their ad campaign performs.
Customized phone numbers are unique for each ad, allowing you to track your marketing efforts easily. The benefits of using customized phone numbers include:
- Track how many dial-in conversions your advertisements make
- Prevent users who don’t want phone solicitations from getting additional unwanted calls
Customized Landing Pages and Vanity URLs
A landing page is a website that you use to track conversions. It’s the final destination of your advertising campaign where people arrive after clicking on an ad on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform. These pages help visitors find what they need and keep them engaged while they take the conversion action (such as signing up for a newsletter).
Unique Discount/Promotional Codes
Many advertisers use discounts or promotional codes good for a single purchase, so consumers can’t reuse them. The advertiser then tracks how many of these individuals purchased the promoted item using the specific code and reports this information as an attribution source.
Why Are Marketing Teams Returning to Traditional Advertising?
You might think problems in advertising attribution are steadily dwindling as companies utilize new technology and more in-depth analytics. However, many marketing teams are returning to traditional advertising. Numerous factors have contributed to this shift.
The Death of the Third-party Cookie
Over the past two decades, marketers have gathered as much information as possible about online consumers and used that knowledge to target them with relevant ads. Companies such as Facebook and Google have built massive data warehouses full of personal information about users visiting their websites or downloading their apps. The marketing landscape is about to change, though.
By 2024, Google Chrome plans to eliminate third-party cookies. Apple has already made significant changes to how it handles third-party cookies in iOS 14. This imminent end of the third-party cookie means many companies will revert to traditional advertising methods to overcome the challenges of attribution.
Capitalizing on Consumer’s Trust
Did you know that consumers trust traditional advertising more than other marketing channels? It’s true. In fact, people are much more likely to trust the information they get from a TV ad or radio spot than from social media ads.
People have grown wary of online ads in general. They often wonder who’s behind the advertisement and if clicking on it will sell their data. These doubts make consumers less likely to engage with digital marketing campaigns and limit your company’s ability to collect reliable intel for attribution.
On the other hand, traditional media has been around for decades. People know what to expect when watching a TV commercial or glancing over a billboard. They can easily distinguish between entertainment and advertisements, making them feel safe in their decision-making process.
Breaking Through the Digital Clutter
The digital clutter is so overwhelming these days that consumers have learned to tune it all out. With so much readily available information and so many voices vying for attention, people can ignore most of it almost instinctively. They’re much more likely to scroll away from a social media ad than flip the channel on their TV.
The Mesh Between Traditional and Digital
As digital marketing has taken center stage over traditional marketing, advertisers have found creative ways to pair the two effectively. For example, TV ads have always included a call-to-action like “call the number on your screen.” Now, many of them include a QR code that you can scan to learn more.
In many ways, the rise of digital advertising has resurrected traditional methods. Traditional advertising methods are by no means dead. Many marketing teams have returned to them and helped companies generate profits through ad campaigns.
The Rise of Podcasts
Podcasts have been around for many years but haven’t exploded in popularity until recently. This growth is partially due to podcast listeners being so loyal and engaged. It makes sense that marketers would want to use this medium to reach these types of consumers.
However, it’s not just about reaching consumers through podcasts anymore. Advertisers are using podcasts as another avenue for ad dollars spent on TV shows or other media where they know people will be listening (and purchasing).
Alternatives to Traditional Advertising That Still Have a Real-world Presence
Digital marketing has helped solve problems in advertising attribution that traditional advertising couldn’t. But people trust traditional advertising and its proven track record of success. You can get the best of both worlds with several modern alternatives to traditional marketing tools.
Connected TV Instead of Traditional Television
Connected TV advertising is an excellent alternative to traditional television advertising. Many people use streaming services like Hulu, Sling, Netflix, and Amazon Prime instead of conventional TV. They can choose what they want to watch without following a broadcasting schedule.
With connected TV, consumers hook up their streaming service to various platforms to customize their viewing experience. This gives advertisers access to all sorts of data, which they can track and use to generate relevant ads. Connected TV advertising works like traditional TV commercials but with higher capabilities and effectiveness.
Digital Radio and Podcasts Instead of Radio Ads
Traditional radio advertising is a great way to reach customers, but it’s not the only way. In fact, podcasts and other digital audio content have become popular ways to reach consumers. Podcasts target specific audiences like old-school radio programs but with more flexibility and customizable options.
Ready to Stop Shooting in the Dark and Improve Your Advertising Attribution?
Are you ready to overcome age-old advertising attribution problems? At The Remnant Agency, we have solutions to help you determine which ads work best and generate more conversions.
When you partner with us, you get access to unsold ad units on the radio, broadcast networks, and connected TV at deep discounts. These radio and TV stations don’t want the “remnant” ad space to go unsold, so they sell them at low prices to buyers in the know, like a fire sale.
Our goal is the highest targeted reach by volume at the best price. Contact us at The Remnant Agency and say goodbye to problems in advertising attribution.