Online ads boost branding and offline sales : MSN study

MUMBAI: Recently a study was unveiled at the fifth annual MSN strategic account summit. It concluded that online advertising in the US could produce significant increases in product branding and offline sales.

In addition these effects can be achieved in a cost-efficient manner when compared with traditional marketing vehicles.

The findings were based on studies conducted between November 2003 and January 2004 of consumer-packaged goods (CPG) brands. The results indicate that the levels of online spending are dramatically higher than the average today (which is less than one per cent) within the CPG category.

Researchers determined that online advertising generated lifts in sales ranging from seven to 12.5 per cent. In addition, when compared alongside ads in traditional media on a cost-efficiency basis online advertising's effect on sales at the study's recommended levels outperformed the average of all marketing vehicles in the study by as much as 30 per cent. The study comes at a time when advertising budgets are tight. Marketers in the US are under growing pressure for advertising accountability. Consumers are becoming harder to reach via television and other traditional media.

The study was developed by a consortium of CPG companies convened by MSN. The aim was to address the increasingly critical question of advertising accountability. The consortium members include Nestle, Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble. They submitted brands and campaigns for evaluation as part of the project.

The study predicts that marketers will achieve the best results through optimal media investment in the right mixture of online and offline advertising. Based on the findings, the recommended proportion of online advertising for the participating CPG brands should be at least five per cent of a total marketing allocation, and potentially higher depending on specific marketing objectives.

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