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How Search And YouTube Can Link To Offline Sales For CPG

Campbell's

Taking advantage of that in-the-moment mindset with the correct message can drive offline sales. It can make or break a campaign. Google highlighted Thursday a series of case studies related to companies in the consumer packaged goods industry (CPG), and it's interesting to see the influence search engine marketing and video can have on in-store purchases.

Levin von Bothmer, industry manager of Consumer & Healthcare in Google Germany, pointed to a variety of brands, from Coca-Cola to Nutella to Tic Tac in Germany. While the study provides a variety of interesting insights into the German market, the most interesting from this presentation points to the effect YouTube has on the TV consumer market, as well as the impact search engine marketing has on consumers worldwide.

Among thousands of German households that participate in the GfK market research panel, YouTube shows the highest share of incremental reach on top of TV, though online still gets a small amount of the media mix from advertisers. The GfK research panel monitors demographics, Web sites and media use, content searched on, advertising viewed, and more. They also monitor offline, such as TV, print and radio.

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Overall, the study demonstrates SEM generates the highest return on investment of all media channels. SEM & YouTube show the highest impact per impression. TV + YouTube have almost twice the sales impact of TV alone. YouTube shows highest share of incremental reach on top of TV. Generic search terms are very effective at bringing in users to the front page of brand sites.

Sarah Bild, marketing manager at PepsiCo-Quaker, had similar results in a Quaker Oatmeal campaign to "re-invigorate" the senses. The campaign included a partnership with the TLC television show, "What Not To Wear" to change the perception of the morning breakfast from dull to lively, but also used bloggers and Google. The campaign reached consumers "in droves" at food blogger sites, Twitter and Facebook. Cooking videos went up on YouTube, and ads targeted throughout the Google Content Network focused on cooking, recipes, parenting, family and mom.

I can't help think about the influence these YouTube campaigns will have on brands once Google TV launches later this year. The impressive results for the Pepsico Quaker Oatmeal campaign on YouTube delivered 20,000 total thumbs up/thumbs down votes; 100,000 video views; 100,000 channel views; and 280,000,000 impressions.

The CPGs company managed to tie the campaign to sales. Quaker unit sales rose 9% among household exposed to the message and the campaign. The unit sales for the store brand, Quaker's biggest competitor, declined 8% among households exposed vs. not exposed to campaign. Nielson conducted the study.

Tying paid search to offline sales provides challenges for CPG companies, but Debra Eskra, director of the Testing Solutions Group at SymphonyIRI, walked through some impressive, yet spotty, results. Campbell's, Kellogg's, and Nestle participated in the study. The objective was to quantify the offline sales impact of search for the food category, and understand how different search levels impact volume sales.

For the participating brands, the study presented challenges. Brands have historically relied on media mix modeling to understand search as a sales driver, but not all brands break out search vs. display. Many brands have less than 3 years worth of significant search data. It's also a consumer-initiated activity, so the group had problems with low sample size behind those consumers motivated to search on a particular set of keywords that would trigger a search ad for measurement.

There were tests and controls of volume sales rates, volume share, price, merchandising, and percentage of sales by store. Product sales were compared against two test markets using ANCOVA analysis. It was measured across a 13 week test campaign, with a two week lag.

Overall, CPG gained sales through paid search. Findings suggest search is an effective strategy to move offline sales and more search can yield more sales. It's important to note that the findings occurred in pockets across the U.S., but brands did realize a positive volume sales lifts in markets where they increased search support, ranging from 1.0% to 4.2%, with the average impact of 3.1%.

When search campaigns were turned off, the brands experienced an average decline of 1.3% to volume sales in markets, which suggests search helps to drive offline sales. Search advertising can drive consumers away from private labels, which benefits the brands with the average increase of 0.78% in volume sales.

3 comments about "How Search And YouTube Can Link To Offline Sales For CPG".
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  1. Lana Mcgilvray from Datran Media, July 23, 2010 at 2:48 p.m.

    Great article Lori!

  2. Nectarios Economakis from Media Experts, July 23, 2010 at 3:09 p.m.

    Interesting article, Thanks Laurie.
    I can't wait to read the study

  3. Robert Davis from Ogilvy, July 27, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.

    This article skims the surface of the opportunity. It isn't fly fishing, we've found that there is a pretty solid science to it. The pathway has 5 key steps to take, and when done right it can make YouTube and other shared video sites incredibly valuable tools... even more so than described in the article.

    Video marketing is entirely misunderstood right now, especially by those blinded by a desire for something "viral" (a word, by the way, which I do not use).

    There are tremendous opportunities out there today.

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