Half Respond To Display Ads By Searching

The long awaited display/search link made

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For the longest time, hardcore ROI-focused PPCers saw little to convince them of the benefits of traditional branding online. Rampant ad blindness among consumers and lack of data to support “awareness” arguments* led many to maintain trimmer, search-focused budgets with measurable results.

A new study from iPospect, commissioned by Forrester Consulting, though, bridges the gap between search and display by revealing 49 percent of internet users who respond to display ads eventually run a search on a company, product, or service featured in them.

The key term there is eventually. Only 27 percent of those who respond to display ads perform an immediate search, compared to 31 percent who click on the ad itself, and 38 percent respond eventually with a search and visit websites from the results (for an aggregate of 49% when combined with those who search and do not click on the results).

The word eventually is important because it’s much rarer that initial exposure to a display ad will inspire a purchase. Just 14 percent of those who respond to a display ad will buy upon first exposure, but a third (33%) eventually purchase from a company with which they are already familiar, and 38 percent of those who respond to a display ad learn about a brand for the first time as a result of their exposure to the ad. 

Another necessary semantic distinction involves those who respond to a display ad, which of course, isn’t everybody. Still, among the group surveyed by iProspect, those who respond to display ads equaled 52 percent.

“In essence, search becomes an alternative mechanism for Internet users to respond to online display,” said iProspect CEO Robert Murray. "Considering that, this finding has an important message for marketers — if they are going to invest in online display, then they should leverage search marketing to help them capture the demand that display advertising creates. In other words, they should consider search as a form of insurance for their display investment."

Misty Locke, chief strategy officer for iProspect, chimes in with a term only very recently used to refer to online advertising: attribution model. “The findings also speak to the need for marketers to implement attribution modeling that is created with their needs in mind. This is key to understanding not only the impact of search and display on conversions, but also the impact of all of their online tactics."

Attribution models are fairly staple for traditional brand advertising. They show direct relationships between an ad campaign and resulting changes in sales as a result. Determining an attribution model for online sales is trickier because it is difficult to determine whether a sales conversion ultimately occurred as a result of a particular search or display ad, or if the decision was made farther in advance or somewhere else along the cyber path.

Nonetheless, ad gurus at the recent ad:Tech conference in San Francisco indicate the advertising industry’s desire to apply attribution models to online campaigns. (Hint: doing so could help raise advertising dollars beyond simple PPC.)

Half Respond To Display Ads By Searching
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  • http://emoneymakingonline.com Money Making Business

    the statistics are interesting. it is true that every one gives importance to buy any product from the know place.

  • http://grokodile.com/ Grokodile

    This resonates with my own behavior.

    I will often open a new window and scope out the company or product of interest in general instead of clicking an ad to visit sales literature.

    However, the key is actually having a personal or professional interest in the product or service mentioned.

    Strange I never put much thought into it… nice information!

  • Measure it!

    Good stuff.

    Hence why Yahoo! is in a prime position to capitalize on this over the next several years. They are #1 in display and #2 in search. No other company in the world can claim that title.

    Display is huge for driving conversions for other ad channels, such as search, down the road. But yet advertisers keep pulling their display budgets because they’re only focused on the direct response click and conversion model. If a display ad doesn’t not convert well, then they assume it’s a dud. Little do they know is that while visitors may not have clicked on their display ad, they later ran a search and then converted based on the branding of the display ad.

    It all comes down to better measurement….plain and simple. The latest Yahoo! Web Analytics upgrade is all about providing advertisers with better and more actionable measurement. And there’s lots of noise out there about campaign attribution models. Giving credit to ads that helped drive conversions for your other ads. Get ready, because 2009/2010 is going to be a biggie for this type of reporting!

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