The Impact of Online Advertising on Branding

Christina Goodman from Dynamic Logic has written an interesting analysis about the Impact of online advertising on branding, in this week’s edition of NMA. According to her company’s research based on over two thousand campaigns spread across three years, online advertising impacted on branding in the following ways..

  • Brand Recall 5.1%
  • Brand Awareness 2.4%
  • Increased favourableness 1.6%
  • Increased buying considerations 1.2%

This is positive news for those who have a vested interest in the continued growth of online advertising, such as ad networks and agencies.  With budgets tightened, the temptation, quite understandably, is to plough all available funds in to either a DR (Direct Response) model or online search (SEO and/or PPC).  Direct Response is attractive to advertisers as it can provide a quick ROI measurement.  Aside from DR, ad networks will also work on CPA based deals where the advertiser only pays for each action / sale from a publisher site, and so the lure for short term and fully accountable success is even greater.  Equally online search is also much more easy to measure in terms of ROI, hence the reason why many advertising budgets have been switched into search channels.

However, over the longer term, online brand advertising can have a greater and more sustained impact. The longevity and familiarity of a creating a successful brand means the impact of future marketing campaigns are likely to be more successful.  This considered it is unwise to look at online brand advertising in terms of raw, short term ROI, as the results can take a long time to gestate.

With the unrivalled ability of online advertising to segment users by demographic, the web offers a unique opportunity to deliver your brand message to your target audience. With the advent of social networks, where you can ascertain the exact age, location, occupation and probable spending habits of the users, there is the ideal opportunity to deliver brand advertising in a way that is not possible in any other marketing channel.  While DR and search based campaigns can accurately and quickly measure ROI, brand advertising can have an immeasurable impact in terms of it’s longer term benefit.  Taking extreme examples to illustrate the point, a successful brand can become a byword for a specific product such as Youtube for online video content or Starbucks for high street coffee shops.

Ditching or scaling back an online advertising campaigns designed exclusively to increase brand awareness, is tempting for marketers as they seek more accountable forms of web marketing, especially at a time of prolongued economic turbulence.  However for those who hold their nerve, the rewards in the longer term, particularly when the economy picks up, could justify the apparent financial pain in the short term, especially if your major competitors have scaled back their online advertising campaigns.

  • Written by on 26th February 2009 at 15:42
  • “Fluid Creativity is an award-winning, multi-service digital agency based in Manchester.”
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