Understanding visits and other metrics in drive-to-store campaigns

By Marina Barreiro Product Insights Comments Off on Understanding visits and other metrics in drive-to-store campaigns

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As drive-to-store campaigns become more mainstream, it’s important to understand what metrics mean for the provider you are running campaigns with. ‘Visits’ can be measured or calculated in several ways, so to truly compare the impact of campaigns run across different platforms, you need to understand what each metric means for each solution.

What is a visit?

A visit in drive-to-store refers to someone who has been exposed to your advertising campaign and then gone into one of your stores. To determine a visit has happened, an identifier is collected when an ad is served and then collected again in the store. 

Currently, the best solution in the market is the MAID (mobile advertising ID), as people carry their phones with them all the time and it is a very accurate indicator of the true location. Fusio collects this ID from the bid requests it serves and our visit measurement partners also use this identifier.

When advertising has run on mobile devices, this process is fairly easy. When advertising has run on other devices, cookies or IP addresses are matched to MAIDs. 

The only constraint of deterministic measurement of visits, such as using MAIDs, is that it is impossible to measure all visits, as it relies on user consent to share their location and MAID for advertising purposes. Furthermore, with Apple’s announcement of new privacy changes to be introduced in iOS 14, users will have more opportunities to decide to opt-in or out of sharing their data with third-party companies for purposes such as visit measurement. 

We’ll talk about industry trends around measurement in section four.

1 – Self-measured or third-party visit measurement

Your provider can either measure the impact of the campaign on visits on their own or use a third-party data provider. Fusio uses third party data to give clients the impartiality and security of knowing that we don’t mark our own homework. 

Working with third-party providers also gives our clients more flexibility on how to measure the visits by choosing the measurement partner that works best for their campaign. For example, some providers don’t have enough reach in certain locations, so being able to choose gives our clients the chance to run successful campaigns worldwide.

2 – Unique or deduplicated visits

It is important to know if your solution presents you with deduplicated visits. Deduplication is the process of eliminating redundant information, in this case, visits measured more than once. That can happen because measurement providers send as much data as they can regarding visits, which means the same visit might be counted twice or more times.

A process of cleaning and tidying up that data (deduplication) is needed to see a more realistic picture of the impact of your campaign and metrics that reflect the true price of driving people to your store. 

The risk of not deduplicating visits is reporting on inflated and inaccurate metrics that do not match your offline reality.

When choosing a drive-to-store partner, we recommend checking that visits are deduplicated. Our platform Fusio ensures that visits at the order level are deduplicated. 

3 – Visits vs incremental visits and footfall uplift

Incrementality is the measurement of the lift in a certain metric, visits in this case, caused by an advertising campaign. ‘Incremental visits’ is a calculated metric, as opposed to simply measuring all visits. It takes into account the baseline at which visits happen organically, and calculates how many additional visits have occurred.

In Fusio we calculate incremental visits and footfall uplift in real-time with the data that we receive from our visit measurement partners via live API. This means we have live reporting on the impact of your campaign. To ensure these metrics are reliable, we’ve also developed an uplift trust feature that signals when campaigns have collected enough data to be statistically significant. 

Read more about our methodology and how it’s been awarded the Best Attribution Solution by the Drum in 2020. 

To understand the overall impact and the incremental impact of your campaign on in-store footfall, it’s important to have both metrics and to know they are reliable.

4 – Measured visits vs estimated visits

We’ve mentioned earlier that MAID is the most reliable way of measuring store visits as it provides advertisers with an anonymous identifier to match ad exposure to store visits. The industry and regulations are moving towards giving more control over to consumers on whether or not they want to share this identifier for advertising targeting purposes. The latest upcoming change has been Apple’s announcement that with iOS 14 users will be required to opt-in or out of sharing their MAID. 

Giving more choice back to consumers and ensuring all targeting is done with their consent is crucial, yet in this case it poses the question of how we can continue to measure store visits without this identifier.

This move is going to increase the need for creating a robust methodology to estimate total visits based on the sample of visits that can be measured. This is fairly new for the mobile industry, where deterministic measurement has been possible, but it is common practice across other media – for example estimating audience in TV or OOH. 

At S4M we are working on understanding what extrapolation could look like for our campaigns to make sure that if it is needed in the future, we can provide you with a reliable estimated visit metric. 

When looking at visits, make sure you know whether the metric is measured visits or extrapolated. They can both be useful, but should be reported separately.

5 – How to compare DTS results across solutions

To ensure you are comfortable understanding the results of your drive-to-store campaign and you are able to compare between providers, here’s a handy question list that you can ask your provider:

  • How are visits measured? Do they use MAID or other identifiers?
  • Do they measure their own results or do they use third party measurement?
  • Do they deduplicate visits? How do they ensure metrics aren’t inflated?
  • Do they measure lift in visits or only absolute visits? How do they calculate incrementality?
  • Do they extrapolate results? Do you have access to both measured visits and the extrapolated metric?

If you have any other questions regarding drive-to-store or about our solution, please get in touch.

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