How to Optimize Google AdWords with Offline Conversion Tracking and Marketo

Marketing Automation


Google AdWords is one of the most important marketing channels for almost every company, and the ability to measure and optimize for conversions is one of its most powerful capabilities. Until now, however, the AdWords conversion tracking tools have only worked for basic online conversions, such as a lead submission (form fill-out) or e-commerce transaction.

Today, however, Google has announced the release of a new AdWords conversion import feature, which allows you to track when clicks on your AdWords ads result in leads or sales in the offline world.

This is very exciting news for B2B marketing professionals and any marketer with a complex sales cycle, especially since the offline conversion data will be incorporated into existing AdWords conversion data. This means it can be leveraged by other AdWords features such as Search Funnels, Automated Rules and flexible bid strategies – which automatically sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible while reaching your average cost-per-conversion goal.

Marketo Integration

Marketing automation is the source of information about which leads get qualified or turn into revenue, so there’s a perfect synergy between solutions such as Marketo and this new AdWords capability. That’s why I am excited that Marketo is the first marketing automation vendor to announce integration with this new feature. Joint customers can download conversion data from Marketo to AdWords, and start viewing Marketo data about which clicks result in qualified leads, opportunities, and new customers from within Google AdWords.

Why This Matters

Many lead submissions never turn into qualified leads, sales accepted opportunities, or customers – meaning that the conversion capabilities in AdWords have not been as effective for companies with those more complex goals.

With this new capability, however, companies can not only measure lead submissions, but they can also track which of those leads resulted in viable business opportunities and ultimately sales. Marketers can use this information to adjust bids for different keywords, locations, times of day, and audience segments to improve the AdWords results for the outcomes they care about.

Here are four examples of how this can work:

Demographic scoring to qualify leads.  A company may want to optimize for true prospects that match their profile of potential future customers. The traditional conversion metrics cannot tell a qualified conversion from an unqualified one (wrong title, company size too small, etc.).  Now, however, companies can measure and optimize for true qualified lead generation.

Nurture leads before passing them to sales.  Many companies use early-stage offers to capture early-stage leads from non-branded keywords. At Marketo, for example, a prospect searching for “email marketing best practices” is probably not yet looking to purchase our solution. We can capture their information with a content offer, but need to nurture the relationship until the prospect is ready to engage in a sales discussion. Only then will we pass them on as a Sales Lead.

Optimize for sales accepted opportunities.  The primary goal for many marketers is to generate opportunities for sales, but many lead submissions never turn into sales accepted opportunities. With the new conversion tracking feature, marketers can easily increase bids on the terms that convert into sales opportunities and decrease bids on keywords that drive leads which do not.

Offline purchase activity. According to Google, the vast majority of purchases – nine out of ten – still take place offline. For many companies, a sales rep or account executive is involved in turning a lead into a customer. Knowing which ad clicks lead to offline sales gives companies a better understanding of the value of those clicks and overall return on investment.  More information and better understanding lead to better campaign optimization and performance.

How will you use this exciting new feature? Let me know in the comments.

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