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Online Publishers Association Study Shows Consumers Exposed to Display Advertising Are More Engaged and Spend More Money Online

June 25, 2009 | By Research Team—DCN

Research Highlights Effective Ways to Measure the Impact of Branding Campaigns

NEW YORK, NY — June 18, 2009 — The Online Publisher’s Association (OPA) today released a new research study, “The Silent Click: Building Brands Online,” which will be unveiled during the “Eyes on the Internet” tour kicking off in San Francisco on June 18th. Throughout the tour, the OPA will address the findings and host panel discussions with senior agency and marketing executives about effective ways to measure the impact of branding campaigns beyond the click.

The study, conducted by comScore, assessed 80 of the biggest branding campaigns across 200 of the most trafficked sites over a month’s time analyzing consumer behaviors of those Internet users who were exposed to display advertising. “The Silent Click” measured three consumer actions: 1) searches conducted related to the advertisers’ brands; 2) site visitation, the traffic driven to the advertisers’ site and 3) consumer spending, the e-commerce transactions related to the advertisers’ brands. For consumers exposed to brand display ad campaigns, the research found that:

  • One in five conduct related searches and one in three visit the brands’ sites
  • Users spent over 50% more time than the average visitor to these sites and consumed more pages
  • Users spent about 10% more money online overall, and significantly more on product categories related to the advertised brands
  • Higher income audiences visited the advertisers sites

“Marketers recognize that consumers are spending nearly 40% of their media time online, making it an ideal place to deliver their brand messages. To date, measuring a brand campaign meant relying on the click, a metric more appropriate for direct response advertising. In order to understand the value of the audiences that display advertising attracts, our study helps marketers think about real behavioral measures designed to move the needle,” said Pam Horan, president of the Online Publishers Association. “The findings suggest that measuring consumers exposed to an advertiser message in terms of their search activities associated with that brand, their visitation to the advertisers’ site and finally their e-commerce and retail spending activities, is a smart formula for getting an important view into display ad effectiveness.”

To understand if the environment that the advertising appears in has an impact on its effectiveness and more importantly the characteristics of the audiences that the different environments attract, comScore analyzed some of the most popular consumer content categories (e.g., business, entertainment, news and sports) with a particular focus on advertising among high quality content sites, as represented by OPA members. The research found that OPA members reach higher income audiences who are more likely to visit advertisers’ web sites where they spent significantly more money on related products and services. The results continue to reinforce why environment matters and how the brand halo effect is furthered among high quality trusted content sites. Key findings include:

  • OPA Business News Sites: E-commerce spending by those visitors exposed to ads on OPA business news sites was 21% higher (a total of $334) than those exposed on the top 50 business sites
  • OPA News Sites: E-commerce spending by exposed visitors on OPA news sites was 15% higher (a total of $426) than those exposed on the top 50 news sites
  • OPA Sports Sites: E-commerce spending by those exposed to ads on OPA sports sites was 8% higher (a total of $241) than those exposed on the top 50 sports sites

The OPA’s annual “Eyes on the Internet Tour” will stop in San Francisco on June 18, Chicago on June 23, and New York on June 25. For more information or to register for the free event, visit http://www.online-publishers.org/eyes09.

To download the report, please click here.

About the OPA

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 149.3 million visitors, or 79% percent of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, August 2008 combined home/work/university data). For more information, go to www.online-publishers.org.