How Offline Advertising Influences Online Search and Purchases

A recent study by iProspect and JupiterResearch that looks at the influence of offline channels on online search behavior had some very interesting findings that helped confirm what I suspected - that offline media channels are having a major impact on online searches and online purchase behavior. The study found that 39% of online searches that are influenced by offline media channels such as DRTV, print and radio advertising ultimately make a purchase. Results from the study also showed that 67% of the online search population is driven to search by offline media channels. Wikiquest

This data from iProspect confirms what people in the direct response advertising industry have been noticing for several years, that offline media channels such as direct response TV, radio and print are clearly influencing a staggering percentage of online searches and sales. The study clearly demonstrates that marketers who are relying on online advertising only are not harnessing the synergies that exist between search and offline advertising channels. I don't feel this is a short term trend. I expect the influence of offline advertising on online search will continue to grow. We've worked with several Internet retailers that were able to take their business to the next level by adding direct response television to their media mix.

The iProspect study noted that all ranges of age, income and online tenure reported that conducting search engine queries has become more important to their use of the Internet over the last year. Since users report that the activity of searching is growing more important to them, then businesses need to make sure that their website is found by searchers. Exposing your target audience to your ads and url in multiple mediums will enhance their ability to find your website.

Not surprisingly, television drove the highest percentage (37%) of online users to perform searches, according to the iProspect study. Even in today's more fragmented media environment, the power of TV remains strong and the influence of TV on online purchase behavior is growing. We have found that anywhere from between 30% to over 90%+ of customers make their purchase via the web, when they're offered both an 800 number and a website in a direct response television ad. Why is this happening? Many consumers feel more comfortable making a purchase via the web than through an in-bound telemarketing service. Also, over 50% of people are simultaneously surfing the web while watching TV, so it's easy for them to log onto your site when they see your TV ad.

The bottom line is that if you're not using a combination of TV, print and radio and online ads to reach customers, you're missing a huge share of potential revenue. Companies that rely solely on one advertising medium are missing the mark. It takes a combination offline and online advertising to make a true impact on today's consumers. So leverage your marketing dollars by using the synergy of DRTV and online ads to maximize the impact of your campaign. When you do, you will see your company's bottom line results improve.

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