This past week Twitter released exciting research results indicating that exposure to a brand’s Tweets can drive a positive lift in purchases in-store. The results were made public on August 8th and come right on the heels of Nielsen’s findings on the causal influence between Twitter activity and TV ratings.
Twitter’s sales impact study focused solely on CPG brands, which have long struggled to measure the effect of their online activities to offline, in-store purchase — which still accounts for 94% of all retail activity (US Census Bureau). Assessing both organic Tweet messages and Promoted Tweets (Twitter’s fundamental ad unit), the study finds:
- Engagement with a brand’s Promoted Tweets resulted in a 12% average sales lift
- 2% sales lift for users who viewed, but did not engage with the Promoted Tweets
- 8% average sales lift for users exposed to a brand’s organic (non-promoted) Tweets
In tandem with the results of the study, Twitter announced that it would be making “offline sales impact” measurement available for consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses in the United States. Interested advertisers should reach out to their Resolution account leads for more information.
How it Works
Twitter has teamed up with consumer data firm, Datalogix, in order to close the loop between Tweet exposure and engagement to in-store sales. Using an advanced, privacy-safe email hashing processes, Datalogix anonymously matches Twitter users to their rich store of consumer purchase data, collected through sources like retailer loyalty card programs. With this information, Datalogix is able to understand changes in purchase behavior for an aggregate of users exposed to a brand’s advertising on Twitter. Users can opt out of Datalogix measurement studies at any time and prohibit Datalogix from sending their hashed email address to Twitter.
“Offline sales impact” goes beyond simple ROAS measurement and provides insight into key Twitter user and buyer characteristics that should help advertisers take strategic action. The characteristics include: engagers vs. non-engagers; followers vs. non-followers; mobile vs. desktop exposure; new vs. existing buyers; and purchase frequency and basket size.
Twitter’s “offline sales impact” capability is a great step forward in helping CPG advertisers better understand the value of their Twitter activity through measurable ROI and sales lift. With insight into user and buyer characteristics, it should also help brands hone and refine their audience targets to maximize impact efficiently.
That said, there are some limitations that should be considered as advertisers assess the opportunity:
- The research does not shed light on creative impact, whether certain content or messages are more impactful at driving sales lift than others
- Nor does it surface deeper audience insights such as which genders, geographies, and interests groups drove the strongest lift
- Earned media impact is not considered, leaving a gap in understanding how exposure to shared Tweets (i.e. retweets and replies) might also be influencing purchases in-store.
- Finally, as with all single-channel focused research, advertisers should view the results in the context of their overall marketing and media effort
While currently available only to CPG advertisers in the United States, Twitter has indicated that over the coming months they will likely roll this out to brands in other verticals, such as automotive.