Google Lets Marketers Track Impact of TV Ads on Web Traffic

In its latest attempt to be the one-stop shop for all things advertising, Google has integrated Google Analytics with its Google TV Ads program, allowing marketers to track the impact their TV ads are having on site traffic.

The new system generates automatic reports that tell marketers when their TV ads ran, the number of impressions delivered, the cost they paid and the CPM. Those reports are integrated with other metrics already covered by Google Analytics, such as Web Site traffic, which allows marketers to see if their TV ads are impacting activity on their sites.

“We’re providing accountability to advertising on- and offline,” said Brett Crosby, a group manager with Google Analytics.

“One of the common complains with TV and all advertising is that it’s difficult to track success, and when you do get any sort of tracking information, it takes so long [to receive] that it’s difficult to act quickly on,” he said. But the Google TV analytics data “is updated throughout the day, so it allows people to make very quick decisions about what is working and what is not.”

The system can also provide information by region, which allows advertisers to track specific campaigns. For example, if an ad buy is localized entirely in San Francisco, Google Analytics can provide data for one’s Web site just in that city, allowing marketers to tell whether traffic in that region spiked after the commercial ran.

Crosby acknowledged that the system was most useful for marketers whose ads include “a specific call to action” that drove consumers to their Web site. “If they’re pushing viewers to go do something on their Web site, obviously it’s going to have a much higher impact,” he said.

Such analytics will appear automatically for customers who link their Google Analytics account with their AdWords account. The service is available immediately.

The search giant debuted a similar service earlier this year for its Audio Ads customers. Crosby said there were no current plans to unveil a tracking system for outdoor advertising, though he did not rule out print. He said both the print and TV tracking systems were a response to client demand.

This new service is just the latest attempt by Google to gain a foothold in the creation and placement of TV ad campaigns. The company recently launched a promotion in which it will pay marketers $2,000 toward the creation of their spots through its Ad Creation Marketplace program.

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