Internet marketing specialists may be interested to read that a new study has revealed that online advertising is a significant driver of brand engagement for retailers.

Conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the cross-media brand engagement research showed that 40 per cent of interaction with brands is driven by online ads, with press accounting for 31 per cent and television for 19 per cent, UTalkMarketing reports.

Advertising campaigns from Debenhams, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Woolworths and Next were examined by the IAB in its study, with the results appearing to indicate that internet advertising offers significant ROI for retailers.

Some 2.5 per cent of the total media budget for each of these retailers was found to be spent on online marketing – but the IAB said that the effectiveness of internet advertising is about 16 times greater than this investment would indicate.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, commented that the research represented the gulf between the growing popularity of online shopping among consumers and the amount of money ploughed into internet marketing by companies.

He added that he hoped the findings would prompt businesses to invest more in this up and coming medium.

The study also identified four main factors thought to determine brand engagement for consumers. These consisted of affinity with the brand in question, the quality of the goods sold, whether the store fitted the needs the consumers and how well-represented the brand was through physical stores.

A recent study by US research firm IDC predicted that global spending on online advertising will top $106 billion (£53.8 billion) by 2011, with keyword ads set to remain the most popular form of internet marketing.

The research also suggested that over $5 billion will be spent on the top four categories of adult content and gambling, information, electronics and computing in 2011.

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