ROPO – (Research Online Purchase Offline) is key to the vast majority of brands with a high street presence.
To fully justify and measure the effectiveness of online spend you clearly need to understand the behaviour on purchasing decisions that occur offline as a result of your online activity.
In an ideal world I would like to say X people who researched online went to buy offline and their average basket value was £y.
What I’m unfortunately finding though is that applying the above methodology to ROPO is easier said than done.
As a result I have gone on a mission to help resolve this and would like to give you the benefit of my experience.
Note: This post requires you to click around many other sites and read lots of stuff to gain a detailed understanding on ROPO. There is no magic ROPO knowledge bullet I’m afraid.
Develop relationships with Google and ask your Industry Head for ROPO research.
With the think with google site you will also find some reasonable white papers and case studies as well. E.g. a white paper on ‘influencing offline, the new digital frontier’ and a Listerine case study
I have pdf comprehensive Google case studies for:
Hagebau (German retail store and the test was for lawn mowers and bicycles), Ikea (Italy), PC City (essentially PC World in Spain), Vodafone (UK), Auchan (huge Multinational retailer, mainly in South and East Europe), Carrefour (French PC sales), FNAC (huge international entertainment retail chain and this study is for Spain), Goertz (German shoe retailer) and a nice ROPO Germany study
Ask your partner agencies as they should have case studies that whilst not available for public consumption are available to you as a client
Global Market Research Agencies
The Consumer Barometer (an IAB project in tandem with Google and TNS that uses a minimum of 2,500 questionnaire responses) is also pretty good. As an example one stat is that 14% of people in the UK within the retail category did online research only before purchasing offline, a further 16% researched retail on and offline before purchasing offline. Visit the interactive homepage or dive right in and start producing tailored graphs.
Look around and spend time researching your niche interest area.
As an example I wanted to find out more about dual screening and the research mentioned in that article was ‘simply’ obtained by several hours of trawling the internet by using Google Advanced Search Queries.
Use trackable codes and unique phone numbers (AdInsight and Media Hawk are two good phone tracking providers) to track phone bleed and then use the good old staples of printable vouchers and newer unique mobile codes e.g. O2 moments do this well and integrate with your EPOS system for an understanding on redemption.
Ask your customers
You could embark on simple online surveys or tailored offline studies to find out from the horses mouth i.e. your customers.
Whilst embarking on an offline tailored study is expensive (depending on its reach and validity it is likely to cost £10,000’s) old skool clipboard Q&A studies are a great way of inferring the impact Digital Marketing has had on that individuals buying decision.
19th September Update: Nice post on the Carat blog about 4G’s impact on ROPO