I never set up a website or an online advertising campaign without attaching some type of tracking. Without tracking,you simply never know if you are wasting money on marketing or improving your business. With normal, everyday online marketing you can usually rely on Google Analytics to provide all the tracking data that you would need to measure results. However, there are times when Analytics simply fails to give you the answers you need.
In this Daily Golden Nugget I'm going to share with you recent case study about a successful implementation of a QR Code and how I had to use a different service other than Google Analytics to help analyze the tracking results.
I recently launched a hyper-local advertising campaign for a local jeweler. I'm calling it "hyper-local" because it is a mobile marketing campaign that uses a QR Code in a newspaper ad. It's actually a community newspaper that is only distributed to homes in the 3 town within 2 miles of the jewelry store. The goal of the campaign was to attract new visitors to the store, but also to track how effective the ad actually was.
With any advertising, there's always the assumption that most of your target audience will not see the ad, some will see it and not act, and some will follow through. Using a QR Code I had hoped that I could track people who were looking at the ad but didn't act upon it. It actually worked as hoped.
When scanning the QR Code in the ad every smartphone was redirected through a special tracking URL where their IP address with the date and time of the scan were recorded. Then the smartphone was directed to the actual landing page for the ad which showed information and a form for people to fill out. People filling out the form were then tracked one more time, but this time their IP address, date, time, and name were recorded.
Because of privacy policies, Google Analytics is not allowed to display the IP address of the people visiting your website, so the tracking I mentioned above actually provides a granular level of information that's not available through Analytics. That's why it was useless for this campaign.
Every IP address on the internet is assigned to a company and a physical location. Using the IP address information we were able to find out what town each person was in when they scanned the QRC and what phone company they used. Pairing of the IP address to the geographic location is called geolocation, and although it's not an exact science, it does give you valuable insights about your audience.
Although there are several companies available that will pair IP addresses to location, my preferred company is IP2Location. I just find the www.ip2location.com website to be easier to use than others I've tried, and I've been using them for several years now.
Using the IP addresses recorded in the tracking, we then used IP2Location to look up the individual IPs. This was a tedious manual process using this page here: http://www.ip2location.com/demo. If this were a larger project with thousands of expected users I would have used the API that IP2Location provides. Even though the manual process took a while, the results we found were rewarding.
The results from the ad so far have shown us this information:
* How many people scan the QRC and don't follow through
* How many people scan the QRC and then fill out the form
* How many people fill out the form and then visit the store in Pearson
* What town each person was in when they scanned the QRC
* What cell phone carrier they are using
Ultimately this new tracking data will show the jeweler which of their 3 local towns are have the highest advertising engagement rate even if the customer didn't eventually come into the store. The cell phone carrier information will also help with future targeted marketing to users of those carrier networks.
Most people who translate their IP addresses into geolocation information only do so as a sense of curiosity. This case study shows how you can specifically measure advertising success or failure using more advanced methods than ever before.