New Study Highlights Online's Vital Role In The Mix

  • by February 11, 2003
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) yesterday released new research results from the latest of its Cross Media Optimization Studies (XMOS) based on advertising campaigns from Kimberly-Clark's Kleenex Soft Pack tissues and Colgate-Palmolive's Colgate Total toothpaste. The study methodology, supported by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), aims to give marketers the ability to determine the optimal mix of interactive, TV, radio and print advertising drawn from real world, in-market results. Based on the research, assessing the optimal advertising mix provides increased brand or sales impact ranging from 10 to 15%.

One year ago, MSN and Unilever released their initial XMOS results, followed by findings from McDonalds in October 2002. This latest round examined campaigns for Kleenex Soft Pack tissues and Colgate Total toothpaste that ran for six to eight weeks and involved television, print, and online advertising. The three key findings from the research are: 1) using a static budget, optimal results are achieved when online advertising is 10-15% of the marketing mix; 2) adding online advertising expands reach and coverage and 3) increasing online allocation produces better overall results by increasing the ROI.

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"In today's economy there is no greater imperative than to maximize marketing dollars and XMOS unequivocally provides the data to do just that," said Greg Stuart, President and CEO of the IAB. "From a cost-effectiveness standpoint, XMOS demonstrates that online advertising is the deal of the century for major brand marketers. In other words, same budget, better results."

Among other findings, the Colgate Total toothpaste "purchase intent" data demonstrated that online advertising should be 11% of the overall mix to best achieve marketing goals. Specifically, dedicating 11% of the overall budget to online advertising generated an increase in "purchase intent" to 4.3% as opposed to 3.4% purchase intent from using offline media only. In addition, Colgate's data showed that it cost 23% more to encourage consumer purchase using TV alone compared to using TV in combination with online.

"This research proves that the Internet has great potential as a marketing tool for our brands," said Jack Haber, Vice President, E-Business, Colgate Palmolive. "And as a lead marketer we have to harness the Internet's potential to connect with our consumers to influence purchasing decisions and to increase brand awareness."

The research from the Kleenex Soft Pack campaign underscores the ability of online advertising to supplement television's reach and coverage to normally hard to reach consumers. More specifically, when targeting those not reached or only lightly covered by TV, the combination of online and magazine advertising was the most effective for boosting "aided brand awareness," "Brand Image," "Purchase Intent" and "Bundled Trial Intent."

"Based on our experience, XMOS are valuable for marketers looking to make educated, targeted advertising decisions," said Brad Santeler, Interactive Services, Kimberly-Clark. "It shows us that without increasing the media budget, we can simply reallocate media dollars to better reach our core audience by leveling out our delivery and, at the same time, better impact brand attitudes."

Over the next few months, additional research results are expected from AstraZeneca, Universal Home Video and ING.

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