Online marketing true value revealed


To understand the impact of online marketing activity on offline sales.


We created an ROI measurement framework, demonstrated the value of their digital marketing efforts and improved user experience, content and creative relevance to drive response rates.


Vodafone was able to measure the value of their digital marketing efforts and shift budget spend to better performing channels confidently.

the background

Date: 2016

The Vodafone New Zealand marketing team wanted to understand the impact online marketing activity has on offline sales. They recognised their customers spent significantly more time online than in-store or on the phone, yet Vodafone’s dominant channels were still offline based. 

Specifically, Vodafone knew that it was common for customers to research phone plans online, but then go and purchase face-to-face in a store. Datalicious was engaged in helping demonstrate the value of Vodafone’s online media efforts and justify the case for marketing budget relocation.

the objectives

Return on investment

Return on investment
Return on investment

Create a return on investment (ROI) measurement framework for online media by attributing revenue correctly across channels. 

Demonstrate value

Demonstrate value
Demonstrate value

Demonstrate the real value of online marketing by including offline sales in measurement, to support an internal business case for an increased budget. 

Improve user experience

Improve user experience
Improve user experience

Improve user experience, content and creative relevance to drive response rates.

the solution

The project was divided up into three phases, with each stage addressing a specific objective. Solving the attribution problem for digital sales was a vital step towards resolving the online to offline challenge. The solution was to:

  • Roll out Google Universal Analytics across all Vodafone NZ websites and apps
  • Integrate Google Analytics Premium (GAP) with DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM)
  • Develop and implement segmentation and campaign naming standard for GAP and DCM
  • Conduct a campaign tracking best practice audit across all channels.

Phase 1 – Create an ROI measurement framework

The first phase was to create a ROI measurement framework for online media by attributing revenue correctly across channels. Google’s Data-Driven Attribution (DDA)  model featured in Google Analytics Premium was put forward as the most effective means of accurately attributing this credit.

In a last-click attribution model, 100% of the conversion credit goes to the final customer touchpoint, which means the role of digital channels that appear earlier in the conversion path are not recognised. This is particularly the case with channels whose success is better measured in impressions rather than clicks.

Through Data-Driven Attribution, Vodafone can:

  • Track purchase paths across devices to show the contribution of desktop vs mobile
  • Track display impressions in purchase paths and not just clicks
  • Deliver media optimisation recommendations based on data-driven attribution insights.

To drive greater efficiencies and increase return on marketing investment, insights from DDA and DCM were automated, enabling future advertising spend to be automatically adjusted based on historical performance data.

Phase 2 – Demonstrate the real value of digital marketing

The second phase was to demonstrate the true value of online marketing by including offline sales in measurement, to support Vodafone’s internal business case for an increased budget.

To do this, offline conversions had to be tracked back to online touch points, giving Google Analytics Premium full visibility on which sales were driven by digital activity. Templates for all welcome emails sent out to new customers post-purchase were updated to include an offline purchase parameter that segmented offline users.  The new model meant the customer data from the post-purchase click-through was tied to other online identifiers, effectively stitching together an accurate online purchase path that influenced the offline sale.

In addition, standardised and correct campaign naming standards were prioritised. These naming standards are essential for consistent, accurate measurement, particularly when assigning ‘virtual’ events for offline conversions back to online touch points.

Phase 3 – Drive response rates

The third phase was to improve user experience, content and creative relevance to drive response rates. Cross-channel targeting was used to achieve this, by:

  • Next best offer/ message prediction for key customer segments and coordinating message across platforms
  • Ongoing testing and optimisation based on accurately attribution conversion results
  • Campaign tracking best practice across all Google stack platforms
  • Standardising visitor segments across all Google stack platforms
  • Implementing and testing campaigns based on standardised GAP/DCM visitor segments from Phase 1 and integrating GAP/DCM visitor segments to any other non-Google targeting platforms if required.

Also, website behavioural data from GAP was exported to Google BigQuery to combine behavioural data with transactional data from the Vodafone NZ CRM (customer relationship management). This data was then integrated with the Google BigQuery Prediction API to generate product recommendations.

the results

The Datalicious solution demonstrated the value of digital marketing. Online marketing campaigns were found to drive 1.7 offline sales for every 1 online sale – a ROI multiplier of 2.7.

Data-Driven Attribution provided the Vodafone NZ marketing team with accurate insights into media performance and a better understanding of the conversion path. Compared to a last-click attribution model, a Data-Driven Attribution model allocates credit for a sale based on the analytically determined importance of a channel at particular points in the path to conversion. It was able to prove a significant lift in measured conversion volume for some channels. For example, display advertising received an increase in conversion credits of 253%, which brings the cost per action (CPA) for display and paid search channels to a more economical level.

DDA insights also showed that some channels are just as effective, if not more, at earlier stages of the purchase path, which would usually be penalised by a last-click model.

Based on these insights, Vodafone was able to shift budget spend to better performing channels confidently.

Find the solution to your challenge

Datalicious have been instrumental in the development of our overall website ecosystem and strategy at Cancer Council NSW. Brian Do, Datalicious' Technical Consultant has displayed true resilience in the deployment of our solutions across very complex journeys and has become an extended part of the team. His Google expertise has enabled us to take our data capabilities to a new level and we look forward to continuing the great work.

Sarah Calderwood - Digital Marketing Manager, Cancer Council – 2019

Datalicious have done a fantastic job at stitching our online and offline data together using Google BigQuery. This has seen HUGE change for our business due to being able to track online leads as well as offline revenue data on tour bookings, which we couldn’t do previously. 

As a result, we're changing our business focus and hiring new candidates that specialise in content and SEO to help attribute the right channels to drive more traffic and revenue for us. 

Lina Jimeno, Business Solutions Consultant and Parth Vasoya, Web Analyst from the Datalicious team have done a great job linking multiple data sources together and helping us solve our challenge by closing the loop on data silos for our business. We couldn't be happier!

Marius Wenning - Digital Marketing Strategist, Chimu Adventures – 2019

Google Analytics provides some pre-configured reports to work with, but the ability to customise and build our own reports from scratch is what allows us to gain truly valuable insights from the tool. Thankfully, Datalicious experts have taken the time to create a customised dashboard and make them available for WittyFeed. This is a huge time saver as we have got access to the reports used on a day to day basis just a click away.

Aditi Kothari - Business Development Executive, WittyFeed - 2017

I would love to say that we increased the HI test volume from 30% to 80% because we followed your same rationale; the truth is we increased because we could see next to no volume after we ceased the SEM/PPC test. Good to know that our decision can be backed up with numbers - thanks!” 

Luke Durante - Digital Marketing Manager, Bupa Australia – 2014

The Datalicious guys are great to work alongside and to have on your team. Their ‘no stone unturned’ approach to finding solutions to challenges, their knowledge and passion for web analytics and best of breed web optimisation was second to none. Big thanks for all your help on our account and for pushing us and our agency partners to keep projects moving. 

Craig Amanti - Digital Performance Manager, Vodafone New Zealand - 2015

Thanks to the Datalicious team for the endurance you’ve all shown to date which has delivered a fantastic outcome. Getting the code implemented with quality and delivered on time provided us with advice around the new implementation and testing. Great teamwork all around. Well done!

Seth Wibisono - Channel Manager, Bupa - 2013

Awesome result! Attributed figures before and after media optimisation show a double-digit percentage increase in sales with a reduction in cost per sale at the same time.

Michael Waymouth - Media Strategy & Planning Manager, IAG - 2015

Datalicious’ tag management and Digital Attribution among other vendors’ capabilities helped to enable real-time media buys in digital media channels based on Telstra’s next best offer models and real-time site data, a world first in terms of the depth of complexity and extent of real-time data integration. Datalicious went out of their way to ensure this trial could go live successfully and delivered an outstanding result.

Scott Thomson - Senior Marketing Manager, Telstra - 2013

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