How brands can merge online and offline experiences to drive growth

Brainwave Communications Ltd.

Source: Think With Google

For today’s consumers, shopping doesn’t begin and end in the store. With so many options both in stores and online, digital and video play a huge role in getting people through the door. For example, 80% of people say they typically switch between online search and video when researching products to buy. It’s no wonder, then, that every brand with an online and offline presence is looking for better ways to connect the dots between the two.

That challenge was all too familiar to H&R Block. While 60% of its customers come to H&R Block retail stores to get in-person tax help, consumer behavior in the finance industry is changing. Today, for example, more than half of offline investors gather information online first.2

So how did the company merge its online and offline experiences? Through a YouTube campaign that led to a 31% increase in incremental reach, almost 1.4 million store visits, and 79,000 confirmed retail appointments.

Creating an omnichannel campaign based on intent and affinity

H&R Block started by analyzing Google Search data to see how people were asking for tax help and to uncover some of their most pressing questions.

Based on that research, the team identified two types of customer behaviors: those who were doing research online but later visited a physical store, and those who were looking to do everything — from research to filing their taxes — online.

With this insight, they built video ads tailored to each need. For example, if someone had previously carried out a Google search for “tax help near me,” they might see a YouTube video ad showcasing the helpfulness of H&R Block’s tax pros and inviting them to sign up for an in-person appointment.