Retargeting generated the highest lift in trademark search behavior at 1,046%, among six different media placement strategies, according to a comScore study released Wednesday.
The study, "When Money Moves to Digital, Where Should It Go?," seeks to analyze the effectiveness of 103 online display advertising campaigns from 39 advertisers covering seven industries. It is intended to distinguish the correct ad placement strategy, cost structure and return on investment (ROI) for media strategies, both independently and integrated. Along with comScore, ValueClick Media set out to determine the media generating the strongest lift in Web site visits and search behavior.
The six media placement strategies -- each with its own advantages and disadvantages -- include Audience targeting, Contextual targeting, Efficiency pricing, Premium pricing, Retargeting, and Run-Of-Network ads.
Campaigns in the study ran between July 2009 and March 2010 in the U.S. ValueClick sold and delivered all the campaigns. comScore evaluated the ads' ability to generate lifts in site visitation and trademark search.
Since searching on trademark terms demonstrates a clear interest in a brand, it makes sense that Retargeting should generate the highest lift in search queries. It shows that consumers have already expressed an interest in the brand.
While Retargeting generated the highest lift in trademark search behavior, the study identified Premium and Contextual placements as the most expensive strategies. The findings suggest that Audience and Premium placements do well to drive sustained, actionable interest in the brand. Placements tied directly to visiting the marketer's site--Contextual, RON and Efficiency -- did not perform as well in generating brand activity. This suggests these methods are relatively effective at driving site traffic, but less effective in creating as much long-term brand lift as other placement strategies.
The Advantage of Premium is the higher average lift, 300%, while contextual has the ability to reach substantially larger audiences. ComScore indicates a reach index of 73, second only to RON.
RON and Efficiency are both high-reach, low-cost strategies, but their lift performance lags that of the other strategies.
The study also evaluated ad placements based on the ability to drive visitors to the marketer's Web site within one week of the consumer being exposed to the advertisement. It was measured regardless of whether traffic came via click or from a consumer visiting the advertiser's site on their own.
Each ad-placement strategy performed differently in the ability to lift Web site traffic. The ranking highlights placements from highest to lowest lift. Retargeting* came in at No. 1, followed by Audience at No. 2; Efficiency*, No. 3; RON*, No. 4; Contextual, No. 5; and Premium, No. 6. The strategies marketed with an asterisk were primarily sold and optimized based on their ability to drive traffic to the advertiser's site.
The study suggests that by week four, Contextual and Premium placement ads became more effective at increasing visitation to a marketer's site, compared with RON and Efficiency. Using traditional CTR measures of effectiveness, these placements would appear to perform poorly because their click rates are so low, but when evaluated over time using more relevant behavioral metrics, they become effective in building interest in a brand, according to the study.