Does online advertising really drive offline sales?

Summit Racing Equipment Retail Store

Image via Wikipedia

You probably know the answer is yes and “online to store” experiments help uncover the effect online advertising has on offline sales.

In these controlled studies, Google partners with clients and vendors to test in-store sales lift, return on ad spend and other ad metrics.

This video below highlights a sample of findings that prove in-store sales for promoted products and categories and the halo effect this can have on general in-store sales.

The experiments were conducted by saturating test markets with online advertising for particular products. They then compared in-store sales with these products to in-store sales in control markets to determine whether online ads lifted in-store sales. The results show positive in-store sales lift and return on ad spend up to 15 times!

Impact of a YouTube Campaign on Offline Sales

We do see more and more clients taking advantage of online video marketing; YouTube is becoming a very popular channel for advertisers. However, YouTube campaign is often treated as a separate marketing channel and its impact is often ignored.

Google recently released a case study with Nutrigloss conducted in France. The study shows the incremental impact of a YouTube campaign on the offline sales of Nutrigloss shampoo.

Key findings are as follows:

  • L’Oréal’s media spend became more efficient by using YouTube. Swapping some TV for YouTube achieved equivalent sales for 13% less budget.
  • Adding a YouTube campaign after a TV burst helped to maintain sales up to 17% above their post-TV level.
  • Up to 35% of those exposed to the YouTube & display campaign were not reached by TV.
  • The YouTube & display campaign was very effective in complementing TV, over-exposing those least exposed to the TV campaign.

You can download a copy of this case study here.

The same as other digital channels, there is a test and refine process required for YouTube marketing; what businesses need to do is to integrate it with other channels and measure the performance and impact of your online video campaigns on your sales.

Does your brand own its first letter on Google search?

Now Google shows you search results as you type, which results in more impressions and better results as you read faster than you type. This is Google Instant.

Even when you don’t know what exactly you are looking for, the top prediction can guide you. As soon as you enter one letter into the search box, you start to see keyword suggestions and search results. Though few people just use single letter as search query, it’s a great exposure for brands if they can own the letter.

As shown in the above image, SingTel, Starhub, SGX and Stomp are the top brands that own letter “s” on Google (as the search was conducted in Singapore; you will probably see different brands with “S” if in a different location).

Which letter does your brand start with? Does Google suggest your brand when a user starts a search query with that letter? Try it out on Google yourself.

Find your market hotspots overseas with Google Export Tool

Google Export Tool uses Google translation and search data to provide an estimate of market opportunities across the world enabling businesses to make informed decisions on where to target international campaigns.

You can have either “Map” view or “Table” view:

It uses data from the millions of internet searches conducted on Google worldwide you will be able to see the estimated search volume and cost-per click for a variety of markets based on your keywords. So, for markets where Google does not have a dominant market share, you need to explore other data sources for more accurate findings.

Explore market opportunities with Google Global Market Finder

Google launched Global Market Finder today for advertisers looking to expand their business.

Simply enter keywords that describe your product or service and select a market or region you’d like to explore. You can choose from regions such as Asia, the Emerging Markets, the “G20” economies, or the Americas.

Do note that “South Korea” is NOT included in the target regions. Take a look at the “Geographic distribution” returned from this tool after typing “forex” as the keyword:

Global Market Finder automatically translates your keyword into languages used in each of your selected markets. It then ranks each location by market opportunity by combining search volume, suggested bid price, and competition for each translated keyword.

However, I doubt about the accuracy of this data for markets where Google does not have a dominent market share. Take the above example, there are no Chinese keywords data combined into “China” data while clearly Chinese prefer keyword “waihui” in Chinese than “forex”.