Online Ads Boost Offline Sales

You may have relegated online-advertising impact solely to online-sales results; however, a recent study via a collaboration between digital-marketing intelligence provider comScore and dunnhumbyUSA, a provider of brand-value services, suggest you reconsider. The study, AdEffx Offline Sales Lift, indicates that it pays to advertise online for offline-sales impact.

In the study, retail sales were measured by analytically linking the permission-based comScore panel of 1 million U.S. Internet users to their anonymous loyalty card in-store purchase data provided by dunnhumbyUSA. (The company confirmed that no identifiable personal data was disclosed.) The results of the study were drawn by comparing the in-store brand purchasing of households exposed to online advertising with that of households not exposed. The results showed that exposure to online display ads can lead to improved in-store sales for consumer-packaged-goods brands.

An analysis of multiple CPG online ad campaigns that involved comparing the offline buying of households exposed to advertising with the buying behavior of households that were not exposed revealed a median in-store sales lift of 21% among the exposed households, with five out of every six campaigns generating a positive sales lift. And approximately 70% of campaigns generated a double-digit sales lift, and more than 40% generated lifts of at least 30%.

comScore also analyzed the offline sales results of a limited set of ad-effectiveness campaigns that leveraged a new Microsoft Corp. advertising product that uses predictive targeting algorithms powered by anonymous in-store buying data from dunnhumbyUSA coupled with online browsing data from comScore; the targeting algorithms are deployed by Microsoft across its network of sites. The results showed an in-store sales lift of 42%—double the lift from campaigns that were not targeted using this approach. These results demonstrate how targeting algorithms can help improve efficiency and effectiveness in display ad delivery, providing more relevant ads to consumers, improved ROI for advertisers and higher CPMs for publishers.

The conclusion: Online advertising pays; but it pays even more when it pertains to specific customer interests and purchasing behavior.

Manyesha Batist

[Image: thinkstockphotos.com/Digital Vision]