Rocket Fuel To Launch Platform Connecting Online Clicks To Offline Sales

Richard Frankel

Marketers that are eager to reach the perfect consumer track campaign budgets carefully, but ultimately want to have the ability to connect online and offline activity. Rocket Fuel is working on technology that will allow marketers to attribute online clicks to offline sales, Richard Frankel, Rocket Fuel president, tells MediaPost.

Advertisers offer a variety of ways to approach the problem of attributing clicks, research or ad views to the sale of an item. Some have tied codes on printable or mobile coupons to the in-store sale.

Frankel points to another approach: find a source that has sales data and build a bridge from that data to clicks on display ads the company supports.

"It mostly deals with cookies and IP data," Frankel says. "There are a few companies that have this type of data, but they haven't figured out how to work with companies like ours to make it actionable."

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That's one problem that Rocket Fuel needs to tackle to make it work. Another is making it easy for advertisers to use the tools. And that's not a simple task, Frankel says, because many companies that own the data don't know how to support data projects on the Web.

The road map should put the tools in the hands of advertisers and marketers some time by June. Theoretically, the tools also could help advertisers understand that different types of media campaigns have real sales impact.

Rocket Fuel last week launched a Real-Time Brand Optimization platform powered by Dynamic Logic. This offering delivers display ad targeting optimization based on brand perception and audience characteristics in real-time as ads are served up.

Brand advertisers no longer need to rely on click-through rates or other less relevant metrics to understand if they are reaching the best audiences and to tune their campaigns.

In-banner ads ask consumers questions they appear to take time to answer, as they search for information. This gives Rocket Fuel enough data to understand the consumer. It also gives marketers a new way to measure brand impact beyond click-through rates. Companies can optimize on audience characteristics they choose, intent to purchase and brand awareness.

The advertiser might learn other insight, too, such as a subsegment of the audience women ages 25 to 54 might respond better, Frankel says.

A handful of major brands in toothpaste, soft drinks and gasoline have been testing the technology. "We're finding the basic function works nicely to reach the correct audience," Frankel says. "It seems that advertisers are starving for quality information."

Rocket Fuel has been running a campaign for the toothpaste brand. It examines an audience's interest in specific brands versus competitors. Frankel could not explain the findings, but points to an odd correlation between the infinity for technology and a toothpaste brand. It appears that people interested in that brand also felt the same about smartphones, an unexpected finding from initial tests, Frankel says.

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