Posted July 21, 2006 8:59 am by with 2 comments

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Kevin Newcomb (happy birthday Kevin!) has details of a new study from Atlas Institute that suggests running display ads (must be a fancy name for “banner ads”) can help improve the results from a search marketing campaign.

The study, which looked at 11 direct response advertisers, found a 22 percent lift in conversions when users were exposed to both search and display ads from the same advertiser

Ok, so us marketers are encouraged to consider display ads alongside search, but don’t go rushing out to buy those fancy skyscraper ads just yet. Here’s some things to note…

1. A sample size of just 11 advertisers? That’s hardly compelling, especially when you note that 3 of the eleven saw no lift at all.
2. I didn’t see what type of companies were represented in the eleven. Were they all big brands? Did they represent different verticals?
3. Lastly, if your budget is limited, search is still the way to go. “The study found users exposed to search ads alone converted at three times the rate as those exposed to display ads alone”.

Anyone else care to chime in?

  • I absolutely agree with you regarding those clients with a limited budget. At the same time, if you increase the demand for the company name as a search term, will that inevitably increase relevance of the website. See what Grehan says about how Pontiac did this with their “Google Pontiac” campaign (

  • Grehan? What does he know? Just kidding, love you Mike! 😉

    I’m definitely a big believer in using search as part of an overall campaign. My gut tells me that combining with display ads should increase effectiveness of both channels, I’m just not ready to bet the bank on this particular study.