Google on Online Ads Boosting Offline Sales

    August 24, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google is talking about how online ads can boost in-store sales at a couple of its different blogs today. The first one looks at the relationship between POS (point of sale) and O2S (online to store).

"Online To Store research is transforming retail today based on the ability to test digital marketing during a specified period of time and measure exactly what happens to sales not only online through eCommerce, but possibly more importantly- in-store in the test markets," says Jay Bowden of the Google Retail Team. "Test and control has never led to greater clarity of online efficacy."

"This is the Holy Grail of advertising and marketing funding if you think about it," he adds. "You have read on this blog before about Google partnering with Retailers to learn exactly what a dollar spent online can do for in-store sales, well now a number of the tests have been completed and the results are in! Online advertising drives in-store sales!"

The other post from Google looks at a recent study from comScore, which shows that online advertising is on par with television advertising in growing retail sales of consumer packaged goods brands. Over 12 weeks, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40% of their target segment successfully grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9%. It was only 8% for tv ad campaigns over 12 months.

Comscore chart

"In 2008, Google commissioned a study with Harris Interactive among three CPG brands to compare the brand building effectiveness between traditional TV and online platforms," says Google on the CPG Blog. "Effectiveness was equated to impact and engagement."

"Identical traditional TV ads were shown on three distinct platforms: 1) on TV, 2) on a computer screen replicating a YouTube video environment, and on a computer screen replicating a click-to-play video embedded in content," Google explains. "The Harris Interactive results showed that :30 commercials on YouTube and embedded video ads performed at parity with TV. All three were on par with the ability to communicate key messages about the brand, strengthen likeability, and drive purchase intent."

The research discussed above is positive news for online advertising in general. In fact, it makes helps make the case for unification of offline and online advertising efforts.