Offline advertising may be suffering right now, but that doesn’t
mean that online brands can’t still profit from it. According to AdWeek, online entities like Zappos, Amazon and Kayak are working with traditional agencies — and advertising — to fatten up their
profits. But the thing they still needs to get worked out is how to measure the effectiveness of cross-channel campaigns.

Trying to foster more brand awareness and utilize growing budgets, online companies are looking past search and display toward more traditional methods. Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen here, a unit of MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, tells AdWeek that television ads bring “people into the fold that
aren’t already participating in the category or, if they are already
participating in the category, might not be considering your brand.
It’s much higher up the purchase funnel.”

Efforts on television can be extremely effective. Online video site Hulu, which has brought traditional network content online, saw a huge windfall from some well-placed television advertising this year. After a spot starring Alec Baldwin aired during the SuperBowl this year, Hulu saw its monthly unique visitors rise to over 9 million, a 104% increase.

Overall, ad budgets are still expected to decline this year and next. According to Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia, there will be 8.7% decline in U.S. media spending in 2009 and 1.7% drop next year, with only 1.1% growth in 2011.

In an economy that is increasingly moving online, those numbers are especially worrisome for traditional advertising. But traditional ads still have their strengths. A study conducted by Conde Nast this Spring found that television ads are still the most powerful branding opportunities available. Compared to that, a full-page 4-color magazine ad has 83% of the value of a 30-second television commercial, while a typical Internet banner ad has 16% of the value.

Unsurprisingly, companies are finding success through reaching audiences in different venues and areas. The more pressing concern is figuring out how to track those ads across different platforms. And brands are still having trouble with that part.

According to a study conducted by TNS Media Intelligence and sponsored by Eyeblaster last week, advertisers that do run cross-channel campaigns aren’t really tracking their performance.

Of those marketers surveyed, 67% said they have run cross-channel campaigns, but only 12% integrate information about how those campaigns perform across two or more channels.