Twitter understands that the novelty has worn off and now it’s time to be more of a business that serves other businesses if it is to grow and survive. With most Twitter purists either being silenced by the masses or long gone from the service it’s a different era for Twitter.
That’s a good thing for business and Twitter’s recent move to partner with Datalogix to help track the impact of Twitter on online sales is a large step in the right direction that many businesses need to see.
The Twitter blog tells us
Even in our increasingly online world, the vast majority of retail sales still happen offline — according to U.S. Census Bureau research, more than 94 percent of retail activity still happens in the physical world. This presents an interesting challenge when trying to measure the impact of marketers’ online advertising.
In partnership with Datalogix (DLX), a company that specializes in measuring the offline impact of online ads, we’re announcing a new capability we call “offline sales impact” to answer that challenge. Starting today, we can now quantify the impact of Promoted and organic Tweets on offline sales for consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses in the United States.
One can almost sense the disappointment in having to write that first line. But it’s reality and it’s better to do business in reality rather than ‘hype-world’ which has been created by the social media industry to this point. Is that to say that this will always be the case? Not by a long shot. But we live in a transitional period of time where ‘old’ ways of doing things are being phased out or replace completely but are likely to never go away completely. It’s those that recognize that we live in an online AND offline world that will win the day over the next 15-20 years.
Testing by Twitter has shown that engagement drives greater in store sales (+12% over a control group), brand’s organic tweets drive sales (+8% over a control group) and the chart below shows the impact of Promoted tweets can be significant.
Now of course there has to be data collection and use that drives this kind of activity so Twitter made it very clear that it is interested in protecting user privacy. Here is the laundry list they laid out to give you and me a feeling of security (in theory at least).
- Datalogix never sends Twitter information about individual users’ purchases.
- The reports that Datalogix creates for advertisers include only aggregated anonymous information.
- The reports have minimum group sizes that are large enough that they do not reveal individual users’ purchases.
- Datalogix segregates the information it receives from Twitter and does not incorporate it into its existing data sets about individual users.
- Users can opt out of Datalogix measurement studies at anytime. If a user opts out, Datalogix does not send the user’s hashed email address to Twitter.
So what’s your take on Twitter’s move to measure its impact on real sales (at least with CGP companies)?