December 27, 2006, 12:00 AM

Online marketing an untapped opportunity for CPGs, survey suggests

Though the channel gets only a tiny share of consumer packaged goods manufacturers’ advertising spend, 39% of online adults—particularly women—search online for consumer packaged goods, a new survey finds.

Less than one percent of total advertising spending by consumer packaged goods marketers is spent on the Internet, according to industry estimates. That means consumer packaged goods marketers may be missing an opportunity to more effectively engage a market of affluent consumers, especially women, suggests the findings of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for digital marketing firm iCrossing.

The survey report, “How America Searches: Consumer Packaged Goods,” determined that 39% of online adults have searched for consumer packaged goods online, with women more likely than men to search for seven of 11 consumer packaged goods product categories named. Research into special offers, cited by 60% of those surveyed, and looking for coupons that could be redeemed in store, cited by 52%, were the most popular reasons consumers searched for consumer packaged goods online. About two-thirds of those who searched for consumer packaged goods indicated they would buy the product somewhere-whether online or offline.

Other findings revealed that consumers who search for consumer packaged goods online make nearly equal use of search engines, cited by 67%; retail web sites, cited by 61%; and product or company sites to search online. Only 26% go to shopping comparison sites and only 19% go to product ratings sites for consumer packaged goods information.

This suggests consumer packaged goods marketers should consider boosting their spend on online and search engine marketing, targeting leading search engines, retailer web sites and brand and product sites, the report concludes. Those venues represent an opportunity to engage consumers and reinforce brand attributes around three identified consumer interests online: finding deals, locating information and conducting commerce. “In particular, as marketers focus on driving online and offline purchasing conversions, they should apportion their web collateral with an eye to the high degree of correlation between search activity and buying intent,” according to the report.

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