Posted March 21, 2007 12:52 pm by with 4 comments

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Apparently it goes both ways with online searches and offline activity. MediaPost’s Center for Media Research reports that offline advertising often prompts online searches. In fact, of any action taken, the study performed by BIGresearch and teh Retail Advertising and Marketing Association finds that an online search is the most popular consumer response to an engaging advertisement.

Just under half of the consumers surveyed said they’d begun an online search after viewing ads in magazines, reading articles, seeing ads on TV and seeing ads on newspapers (in order of popularity).

But the benefit for advertisers doesn’t stop there:

After searching, online consumers said they are most likely to communicate with others about their search through face-to-face discussion (68.9%), though email (53.1%), telephone (50.9%), and cell phone (30%) communication were also popular choices. Young adults 18-24 are also taking advantage of an influx of new media, communicating about service, products and brands by instant messaging (37.5%), text messaging (23.7%) and through online communities like MySpace and Facebook (20.6%).

The Executive Director of the RAMA, Mike Gatti, said of the survey’s results: “When it comes to advertising, retailers always need to be careful not to put all of their eggs in one basket. While search engine marketing continues to be a popular strategy, retailers should not lose sight of traditional advertising channels to promote products and services.”

Well, yes and no. Traditional advertising channels still dominate the market, and search is not as popular as Gatti seems to think. However, if you’re advertising or getting coverage in a newspaper or magazine, and people go to search about yoru company or your product or the story, shouldn’t you be sure you’re in the results?

If anything, the study seems to support the fact that an SEM campaign integrated into your overall marketing strategy is just as important as your offline ads.

  • Just another reason why both online & offline brands should be coordinating SEO, PPC, & offline ads. Unfortunately, very few get it right.

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  • We have definitely seen this a lot, not only for big brands doing national TV branding but for local businesses doing small degrees of offline advertising, from local papers to radio ads and mailers. The bottom line is that whatever the business, people are absolutely taking in other types of media but making their first stab at more information searching online.

  • I guess people are getting the hint and moving on the net to find out more on products that they have seen offline. They have learnt not to be so trusting on what just the papers, tv ads say, but turning to more sources (such as online) to confirm their beliefs and get feedback from others before making their purchase.