David Tymm of secure digital voucher provider i-movo suggests a new approach to bridging the gap between online marketing activity and what consumers actually do

The Four Rs: measuring the effectiveness of online marketing from screen to store


David Tymm of secure digital voucher provider i-movo suggests a new approach to bridging the gap between online marketing activity and what consumers actually do… SPONSORED FEATURE

The term ‘The Three Rs’ – referring to Reading, Writing and Arithmetic – were first proposed as the basis for a solid Victorian education by Sir William Curtis in 1825, to much derision. His contribution to education theory was quickly satirised as ’Reading, ’Riting and ’Rithmetic, and became a wry comment on educational standards, or the lack of them.

However, the idea of alliterating the Rs remains popular to this day — the environmental lobby, for example, has recently adopted the format, adding a fourth R to create ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Recover’.

So, in this tradition, we at i-movo have developed our own 4Rs to cover the four stages marketers should go through when running online promotional campaigns.

R1 = Reach

This represents the total audience volume exposed to a campaign. Digital channels have a distinct advantage over broadcast or out-of-home media in this regard, as many digital platforms (Facebook and Twitter for example) allow precise targeting by demographic profile, time-of-day, or day-of-week, together with lifestyle and interest.

Other digital channels such as a brand’s own website or organic search terms are less targeted but have the advantage that visitors are likely to be positively predisposed to a brand given they have arrived at a brand site or searched for it without prompting.

Non-digital channels such as out-of-home and instore have a less quantifiable audience figure; in these instances, footfall figures can be used to arrive at an educated estimate.

In all cases, i-movo believes the best practice is to encourage consumers to engage with the offer by clicking through to a branded microsite, or by texting a keyword to a shortcode, triggering a reply of a digital voucher.

R2 = Response

The preceding process results in a figure representing the number of consumers engaging with the instructions of the promotion, and arriving at the microsite. Through Google Analytics we can measure how many consumers from the initial group (the Reach) have taken this next step.

Brands should be aware that this step represents the single largest percentage in reduction in volumes between the various steps of the 4R i-movo model. Consumers lost at this stage in the process cannot be easily re-contacted so particular care is required in the selection and buying of online campaigns, to ensure the reduction is minimised. Bear in mind that even the most successful of online campaigns rarely exceed a 5% response rate.

R3 = Request

The third step in the 4R process is the Voucher Request. This is the number of consumers that successfully request a voucher by supplying their email or mobile phone number as the means of receiving the voucher together with any other information the brand wishes to collect such as post code, or must collect such as date-of-birth in the case of promotions including alcoholic drinks.

Completion of this step results in the consumer being sent a unique voucher using their preferred channel. Best practice is to issue all vouchers with an expiry date and time expressed as a number of days and/or hours from the point of issue.

Combining this control in conjunction with scaling back on media spend to reduce the ‘Reach’ of the campaign can therefore provide effective financial control of a campaign, without the need for promotional insurance, but only if all relevant data is available in real-time – which it is with i-movo’s approach and method.

R4 = Redemption

The final R represents Redemption: the secure validation of the voucher in-store. This is the number of consumers that have completed all four steps of the consumer journey, from seeing the promotion to availing themselves of it in-store at any of the 65,000 stores that are able to process i-movo vouchers.

In terms of coverage, i-movo’s integration with the three payment networks who serve our selected retailers (epay, PayPoint and Payzone) means the service is currently available within one mile of 99.1% of the UK urban population and in rural areas to a similar percentage within five miles. We are now extending our reach further by integrating directly into the till systems used by retailers.

The final element of the process is the need to reimburse the retailer who accepted the voucher. At the time of writing and against a backdrop of changing and increased regulation, facilitating of some settlement payments is a regulated activity. Consequently, i-movo has been accredited as a ‘Small Payments Institution’ by the Financial Conduct Authority since 2012.

Through accurate measure of all elements of the process, the i-movo 4R process provides both visibility of campaign success and also enables transparent return-on-investment calculation. All aspects of a campaign, from the creative, the strategy, to the consumer store visit are visible, quantifiable, and ultimately accountable.


While marketers have plenty of tools to measure the impact of online marketing activity in the digital space, it is far less easy to achieve the same level of accountability for online marketing activity where the desired outcome is a consumer visiting a bricks-and-mortar store in order to purchase a promoted product.

This information gap between online marketing and the consumer’s subsequent experience of the promoted product requires filling if marketers are to better justify the return-on-investment of their marketing campaigns.

i-movo’s four-stage 4Rs model provides an approach to measuring and predicting results accurately and in real-time, to give an unprecedented perspective of campaign performance and accountability.

David Tymm is CEO and co-founder of secure digital voucher service i-movo. This comment piece has been extracted from a White Paper, ‘The Four Rs: Measuring the effectiveness of online marketing from screen to store’ which is available to download from the i-movo site.

i-movo is a sponsor of the IPM Awards 2017.

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