August 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

Online ads give brands a bigger sales boost than TV, comScore study says

Over three months, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40% of their target segment grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9%, comScore reports, compared to an average lift of 8% for TV advertising in a year.

 

Online advertising of consumer products boosts sales at a higher rate and faster than comparable TV advertising, according to a recent study by comScore Inc. on behalf of DunnHumby USA, a marketing agency for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers.

ComScore monitored the online behavior of 200,000 members of its consumer panel, all of whom belong to supermarket loyalty programs, to determine how online marketing affected their purchasing.

Over three months, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40% of their target segment grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9%, comScore reports, compared to an average lift of 8% for TV advertising in a year, as measured by Information Resources Inc.

ComScore examined the retail purchasing behavior of the 200,000 panelists by measuring their in-store purchases as recorded through point-of-sale UPC scanners when panelists presented their membership cards at checkout. It compared retail purchases of comScore panelists who were exposed to online advertising campaigns for a variety of CPG brands with the purchases of groups of control panelists who were not exposed to such campaigns to determine the lift that online advertising provided.

The study examined advertising campaigns for brands in a variety of consumer packaged goods categories, including cereal, cookie mixes, pizza, juice drinks, snack bars, pasta, tea, deodorants and toothpaste. The ad campaigns featured display ads, including both static banner ads as well as rich media. ComScore reports that approximately 80% of the online ad campaigns analyzed resulted in statistically significant sales increases for the advertised brands.

“These early results confirm the ability of online advertising to successfully build retail sales of CPG brands on par with the impact of television advertising,” says Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of comScore. “It is likely that the more precise targeting ability of the Internet-especially in terms of accurately reaching the desired demographic segment-is a key reason for its effectiveness. That is meaningful in and of itself, but when you take into account the fact that online advertising is generally less costly than television, these results take on even greater significance.”

 

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