Study Confirms Display Ads, Paid Search Work in Concert

MurrayDisplay ads influence search behavior, according to a study from iProspect released today. The findings rely on data to support industry rhetoric that display ads and search work together to provide a bigger impact on campaigns.

The "Search Engine Marketing and Online Display Advertising Integration Study" suggests that while 31% of people click on display ads, nearly as many -- 27% -- go to search engines to provide a search. More than 20% type the company Web address into their browser and directly navigate to the Web site, and 9% respond by investigating the product, brand, or company through social media.

"If I don't have a display campaign to support my paid search campaign, I'm basically giving the traffic away to my competitors," said Robert Murray, CEO at iProspect, Boston. "Display isn't dead, but just as many people will perform a search, and you had better have an integrated paid search campaign."

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Murray called paid search "the ultimate demand capture mechanism," but it can't create awareness for the products and the services. He said smart marketers don't need to generate demand. Although a bit of a "gorilla tactic," those running smart search campaigns integrated with someone else's display campaign let marketers capitalize on another's spend.

Tapping into a competitor's display campaign, marketers can run paid search ads based on keywords and messaging. Marketers should keep in mind all conversions and clicks the display ad will drive to competitors' sites if they invest in display and not integrate a paid search campaign.

The survey found that of the 52% of Internet users who respond to an online display ad, 48% are familiar with the display ad offering or company but do not purchase the product. It is interesting to note that 38% learn of the offering or company for the first time from exposure to an online display ad but do not purchase the product, while 33% are familiar with the offering or company and eventually make a purchase of the product or from that company. Only 14% learn of the offering or the company for the first time and eventually purchase the product.

Overall, the study shows that Internet users are more likely to engage and/or eventually make a purchase from brands with which they are already familiar.

Consumers also seek to validate a brand through search engine rankings. Perception suggests that if search engines rank a product or a brand high in query results, it must be a reputable brand.

Murray said marketers should also integrate display and paid search with offline media, such as radio and TV. A iProspect study conducted last year suggests that 67% of the people exposed to an offline marketing message said they performed a search. "You need to make sure the message is consistent throughout all media including the look and feel of ad units and keywords," he said.

1 comment about "Study Confirms Display Ads, Paid Search Work in Concert".
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  1. Michael Hubbard from Media Two Interactive, May 12, 2009 at 10:59 a.m.

    Good story - yes... Breaking news - not even close. 2 years ago we released a case study that confirmed this. Earlier in 2008 Atlas also did a study that had similar numbers/results to ours and this one... Maybe with the advent of all of the traditional marketers coming onboard this is good to repeat, but it's hardly new news...

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