TV Ads Lift Online Sales Conversions (Really!)

Want to increase your online revenue per click? Try television. I'm not kidding. We just ran a series of tests that show conclusively that television advertising boosts revenue per click for online and offline marketing channels, even social media & affiliates. Overall, the studies revealed a definite positive halo effect of TV over time on a wide range of online and offline marketing channels including radio, print, direct mail and word of mouth.

We looked at the impact of TV advertising across the spectrum of exposure including:

1. Clients that had never purchased TV previously but added it to their marketing mix during the study period
2. Clients that lowered or increased media spends during specific time periods for purposes of measuring impact both on TV and online
3. Clients that tested modifications to creative or new networks/programs on TV
4. Clients that had TV presence for multiple years

In every category we saw increases in both traffic and conversions as a result of TV exposure; some of it quite profound, such as an increase of more than 63% in the rate of conversions





Visitor Increase


Conversion Rate Improvement


Direct Traffic





(direct site address entered in browser )


PPC Brand





(traffic from paid keyword-based search ads)


Organic Brand





(traffic from organic non-paid search)


PPC Non-Brand





(traffic from paid generic keyword search ads ie: "car")


Organic Non-Brand





(traffic from organic non-paid search of generic keywords ie: "car")


Social Media





(Traffic from Facebook, Twitter, etc.)











(paid traffic from affiliate programs like Commission Junction)













(Banner or rich media ads)

So then why do marketers typically fail to recognize the impact of television on this wide range of channels? Perhaps because they traditionally believe that television only impacts the direct traffic, branded paid search and branded organic search channels. But I think it's a general failure to consider the online buying experience in a holistic framework -- and specifically, a misguided dependence by the majority of online marketers on a last-click attribution approach.

Since most companies lack the ability to perform the most basic multi-click digital attribution, layering in the complexity of lift resulting from offline impact remains elusive. These marketers typically use self-reported data, surveys or other hypothetical (and biased) sampling methods in a feeble attempt to determine the true impact of TV. Even those that have the capability to directly measure impact on click-based traffic will often take the path of least resistance and simply apply a last-click model to assess impact only on direct traffic and branded search.

It is critical to cross-attribute the correct share of the lift experienced in each channel back to television so that clients can focus their spend in the right areas to drive the maximum possible revenue and profit. Using a methodology that fails to consider the impact of TV on all marketing channels under-credits the immediate traffic impact and latent halo effects of TV's brand-equity-building results.

3 comments about "TV Ads Lift Online Sales Conversions (Really!)".
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  1. Stephen Pickens from Pick Consulting, September 17, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

    We at Kre8 Media see the same thing for our online clients. Increased media multitasking allows consumers to immediately respond to TV ads online, allowing us to attribute said response to recently aired TV spots on multiple networks. This allows us to optimize TV buys based on the productivity and efficiency of cable networks, dayparts, and programming, much like online buys are optimized. While online advertising is a very important component of any online marketer's media mix, it tends to catch customers at the bottom of the funnel - TV is great for introducing brands to consumers and compelling them to respond, driving unparalleled growth for online businesses. -

  2. Durk Price from eAccountable, September 18, 2012 at 7:37 p.m.

    It's particularly easy to see this correlation when the online is part of an infomercial campaign. We have seen the ebbs and flows of a TV campaign on an almost daily basis for the clients we have worked with who have both a significant online presence and infomercial schedule. It is not in any way surprising that these kinds of results are being utilized to determine additional value of the offline channel to online. The only thing more surprising is that some people didn't realize it at all. Online marketing has never existed in a vacuum. All media must be coordinated and utilized to drive maximum exposure and sales. Well done!

  3. Mark van de Crommert from Mediasynced, October 8, 2012 at 8:26 a.m.

    Thought results may not be too surprising, it is the detail and granularity that makes this kind of research even more valuable. Thanks for sharing!

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