CASE STUDY: Knowing Offline Impact Doubled Digital Marketing Budget

Business Problem: The client had access to extensive web analytics, but no data on what mattered most: offline sales driven by the website.

Client: $2B brand
Website Goal: Drive offline sales

Business Problem

The client had access to extensive web analytics, but no data on what mattered most: offline sales driven by the website. The marketing team had created an assumption based model to quantify offline sales by website visitors – many felt digital was having a greater influence than estimated, but they couldn’t prove it.


KnowClick’s system was used to measure total offline sales influenced by the website.

1. Offline Impact. Annual revenue influenced by digital was more than five times what the client had assumed ($152M rather than $30M).

2. Attribution Truth. For website visitors coming from paid search, annual revenue influenced by digital was more than seven times what the client had assumed ($37M rather than $5M).

We accounted for attribution by finding that 64% of buyers driven by paid search were not considering the client until their website visit. This meant that $24M annual revenue was directly attributable to paid search. Return on ad spend was about 23 to 1!

Client Actions

  1. Executive team doubled spend on digital (increasing ad spend and team size).
  2. Marketing team doubled paid search budget, leading to revenue driven by paid search almost doubling.

So, how did we do it?

KnowClick captured the entire customer journey of a representative sample of website visitors from initial website visit to in-store purchase.

  1. Website Visit: KnowClick launched high response surveys, capturing extensive information about visitor needs/intentions and then connecting that to their website behavior. Half the respondents provided their contact information to participate in a later survey.
  2. Offline Purchases: One month after their website visit, KnowClick emailed a purchase survey to visitors who provided their contact information. Respondents were asked who they ultimately purchased from, why, and much more.
  3. Integrated Journey: KnowClick integrated the data from the different touchpoints: survey data of website visitors, their website behavior, and their offline purchase data.
  4. Survey Bias Removal: The most important step. KnowClick used algorithms to remove survey bias at each step and make the data representative of all visitors.


Q: Is KnowClick really sure that website visitors spend $152M a year?

Close to it, yes. It’s important to get close to the actual impact so the right business decisions are made. This client thought that the website influenced $30M in sales but we found it was 5 times that. If the number was actually $140M or $160M, the budget increase would probably have been the same.

Q: Can’t I get this same information by tracking registered visitors or coupon users? What about iBeacon or other apps?

These methods are typically too skewed for their results to be useful at measuring website impact on visitors. They don’t work well for retailers and are even worse for brands.

  • Registered Visitors: They are typically very loyal and among the most likely to purchase. Purchase rates of registered visitors are not representative of all website visitors.
  • Coupon Users: There are many people who may have been influenced to buy by your website but didn’t use a coupon. Many coupon users also find coupons in alternative channels.
  • iBeacon / location tracking apps: These hold promise in the future for retailers, but currently significantly underestimate the portion of your website visitors who go to your store. The in-store purchase tracking is also imperfect.

Q: What else can tracking of offline sales provide?

  • Seeing the portion of visitors who bought from specific competitors
  • Uncovering why visitors bought from each competitor instead of your company
  • Identifying which audience segments purchase at the best and worst rates

Our clients have allowed KnowClick to share this information on the condition that their name (and sometimes industry) is not included.

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