Even Minus Clicks, Digital Media Works

By Dec 01, 2010

If you’re a brand marketer and feeling the temptation to cut back on your search marketing or display budget on the rationale that people don’t click on your ads anyway, you may want to think again. New research from comScore and digital marketing firm iProspect indicates that simply seeing a pay-per-click ad, high organic search listing or display ad can elevate a brand’s standing in such important metrics as recall, favorability, likelihood to visit the brand website and likelihood to buy.

The study, “Real Branding Implications of Digital Media,” found that mere impressions of paid search advertising — in other words, just seeing a pay-per-click ad on a search results page — produce a 44% increase in purchase likelihood. And exposure to both paid and organic messaging in search makes it 73% more likely that a viewer will buy, and 95% more likely that he or she will visit the brand’s website.

For example, in the hotel segment, the study found that a combination of organic search results and online display ad impressions produced a 144% lift in likelihood to purchase, while paid search impressions alone contributed a 147% lift in this metric. Retailers, too, will see the biggest benefits in terms of purchase intent from pay-per-click search ads (75%) and display ads (33%).

But in the insurance category, only organic search results really moved the needle on purchase likelihood, to the tune of a 150% increase. Software, too, saw only a lift in purchase intent (30%) from organic search results.

Got a Web tip to share? Contact Brian Quinton at brian.quinton@penton.com