Are brands getting the results they want from digital ads? As digital marketing continues to become a top priority for companies in their efforts to reach customers wherever they are, return on investment (ROI) remains an important metric to pay attention to. Just how much revenue are those digital ads generating, and is the spend worth the investment?
The good news, revealed in a recent study, is that online ads do have a notable impact on sales. The year-long study involving Unilever, Nestle, and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) followed nine popular household brands—Nescafé, Häagen Dazs, Persil, PG Tips, Magnum, Surf, Maille, Tropicana, and Aquafresh—and tested their ads across desktop and mobile sites such as The Guardian, Yahoo!, eBay, Gumtree, AutoTrader, and Mail Online.
Drawing on a combination of Nectar loyalty card data, which provides transaction data for more than 12 million Sainsbury’s customers, and Nielsen Homescan data, which measures shopping behaviour at other UK supermarkets, researchers charted the purchasing behaviour of consumers who received the ads and compared it to the behaviour of those who didn’t.
The study found that every £1 spent on display ads generated an average of £1.94 in sales. In addition to revealing the effect of online display ads on sales, the study showed that online ads had a significant impact on offline sales. In fact, according to IAB’s chief digital officer, Tim Elkington, the majority of sales generated by the online ads occurred in-store.
With this kind of data showing a solid ROI, it seems clear that marketers should be focusing more of their brand’s spend on digital marketing and online ads. The report’s findings aren’t a guarantee, but the evidence shows at the very least that customers are indeed responding, and that the ROI potential is there.
Clearly, some brands are getting results from online ads, which is good news for companies interested in dipping their toes in the water of online advertising. What about your brand? Are you finding the same ROI? What strategies are you employing to drive sales using digital marketing?