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Online Advertising Drives 9% Sales Gain For CPG Brands

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Studies are proving that in a down economy online advertising makes even more sense. This latest study from the experts over at Media Post

Study: Online Advertising Drives 9% Sales Gain For CPG Brands

A new study indicates that online advertising boosts retail sales of consumer packaged goods brands by 9% on average -- comparable with the lift from TV ad campaigns.

by Mark Walsh, Yesterday, 5:35 PM

The findings come from comScore and marketing consultancy dunnhumbyUSA based on research involving online campaigns run over three months for a variety unnamed CPG brands.

Specifically, the study focused on 200,000 comScore and dunnhumbyUSA panelists who were members of supermarket loyalty programs and whose retail-buying behavior was measured through point-of-sale UPC scanners at checkout.

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By comparing the retail buying of people exposed to online CPG advertising with that of control groups of panelists who were not, comScore sought to determine the impact on actual sales of the advertised brands. The ad campaigns featured both static banner and rich media ads for a range of products including tea, pizza, snack bars, deodorant and toothpaste.

In addition to the 9% lift in retail sales, the study found that 80% of the campaigns analyzed resulted in statistically significant sales increases for the advertised brands. The results suggested that the influence of online advertising was on par with that of TV based on the IRI paper "How Advertising Works" showing that TV advertising delivers an 8% retail sales lift on average over the course of a year.

In a statement, Bill Pearce, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Del Monte Foods, said the study results show that online marketing can drive offline sales. "These are precisely the types of persuasive studies we are looking for at Del Monte as digital plays an increasing role in our marketing strategy."

CPG companies have traditionally lagged behind other sectors such as financial services and automotive. Last year, the CPG and food products category accounted for only 6%, or $1.5 billion, of the $23.4 billion spent on online advertising last year -- up from 4%, or $925 million, in 2007.

DunnhumbyUSA is a joint venture between The Kroger Company and London-based dunnhumby, with clients including Kroger, Macy's Coca-Cola, General Mills and Kimberly-Clark.

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