The Internet can be as effective an advertising medium as television advertising, according to new research. The study, conducted by comScore in partnership with dunnhumbyUSA, looked into the effectiveness of online advertising in building retail sales of consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.
Over the course of twelve weeks, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40 percent of their target segment successfully grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9 percent. This compares to an average lift of 8 percent for TV advertising as measured by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and published in their research paper “How Advertising Works.”
Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of comScore said in a statement: “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. 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.”
Ad campaigns for brands in a wide variety of CPG product categories, including cereal, cookie mixes, pizza, juice drinks, snack bars, pasta, tea, deodorants and toothpaste, were examined. The campaigns featured display ads, including both static banner ads as well as rich media.
Over the course of a three-month period, comScore observed that these types of ad campaigns were able to lift sales of the advertised brands in retail supermarkets by an average of 9 percent. Approximately 80 percent of the online ad campaigns analyzed resulted in statistically significant sales increases for the advertised brands.
The comScore dunnhumbyUSA research was conducted by examining the retail purchasing behavior of members of the comScore panel of 2 million Internet users who have given comScore explicit permission to monitor their online behavior.
The studies focused on the 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 when the panelists presented their membership cards at the checkout lanes of participating supermarket stores.