For Google, offline conversion data is meeting existing AdWords conversion data. For Marketo, the marketing automation vendor giant, this opened a door for integration with the new feature. 

For B2B marketers, this means offline data will now be joined with online data, and you can now view hard results on what customer clicks mean before they make an offline purchase.

First for Google AdWords 

Marketo just this week partnered with Demandbase, Inc. in a real-time identification technology platform. And now, it becomes the first marketing automation vendor to team up with Google's AdWords to help marketers better optimize their spend and establish more effective marketing campaigns.

The new AdWords conversion import feature allows users to upload offline conversion events into AdWords and see how clicks on ads lead to sales made in the offline world (i.e., over the phone, via a sales rep), according to a blog post from Jon Diorio, Google’s product management lead for AdWords reporting & insights.  

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While Google AdWords is strong in its ability to measure and optimize for conversions, its conversion tracking tools have only worked for basic online conversions -- think lead submission (form fill-out) or e-commerce transaction, according to Jon Miller, who leads strategy and execution for all aspects of Marketo's communications, thought leadership, and content marketing program.

However, according to Miller, Google’s new AdWords conversion import feature will allow marketers to track when clicks on an AdWords ad results in leads or sales in the offline world.

A More Complete View of the Customer Journey

Google says it’s not done in this space, either. It already launched cross-account conversion tracking and Search Funnels, and after this week’s announcement has visions for “improvements and new features aimed at providing a more complete picture of your customers' journey and more accurate measure of ads effectiveness across devices and across channels,” Google’s Diorio blogged.

Learning Opportunities

“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.”

Marketo knows a bit about lead generation -- it was one of the highest scorers in the vendor research study by Info-Tech Research Group on lead management and was named a champion in the space. 

How Marketo Integrates AdWords

Google AdWords and Marketo’s new features work in the following ways, according to Miller:

  • Demographic scoring to qualify leads. Companies can now measure and optimize true qualified lead generation -- whereas with the traditional conversion metrics the distinction between qualified and unqualified leads is not clear. 
  • Nurture leads before passing them to sales. This one’s all about patience. Is the prospect ready to engage in a sales discussion just because they used a few key search words? Maybe not. We “need to nurture the relationship until the prospect is ready to engage in a sales discussion,” Miller said. 
  • Optimize for sales accepted opportunities. Marketers can now 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. Google says nine out of 10 purchases still happen offline. Marketers are now going to be able to know which ad clicks lead to offline sales.

AdWords Developments 

Google AdWords has made a few development announcements this year. Near the end of Q2 it introduced a new tool that allows companies to attach images to search-engine based advertisements. The image extensions tool simply gives those who click on an ad something better visually.

Earlier in the year, AdWords for Video added reach and frequency reporting, column sets and a geomap to its platform. AdWords also launched an enhanced campaigns feature that enabled users to have one campaign that can be spread across different devices and platforms.