Retailers: Make the Most of Online Ads During Holiday Season
Men Shown to Be Important Targets; Static Ads are as Effective as Rich Media in Influencing In-Store or Online Visitation
In the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where spending reached $10.7billion* and $1.03billion** respectively, the word on everyone's mind is retail. It's no surprise that Amazon is topping the list in terms of online sales — earlier 2010 research by Millward Brown named it as the most trusted and recommended brand in the U.S. (of all brands, not only retail). Even so, new research revealed that people continue to shop in stores despite the convenience of online shopping — atmosphere, inspiration, thoughtfulness and the "touch" factor are among reasons why.
Regardless of whether people are shopping online or in the store, there's no denying the spending power that exists around this time of year. With that in mind, retail marketers are faced with raising interest and driving sales. Based on research from over 120 retail campaigns in the MarketNorms® ad effectiveness database, Dynamic Logic finds that online advertising for retail brands tends to perform slightly under the online average in its ability to shift most key brand impact metrics, with the exception of message association (shown below).
However, when taking a closer look into specific ad attributes and demographic targets, Dynamic Logic offers new insights for retail marketers to get the most out of their online ads this holiday season:
- Men are just as important as women when targeting holiday ads. Although women have higher baseline awareness of retailers and higher baseline likelihood to visit, men's ability to associate a brand's message with its advertising after exposure is greater than women's.
- While rich media helps achieve ad awareness, its ability to persuade retail store or site visitation is not significantly different from static ads.
- Retail "intent to visit" does not vary much as frequency increases. Even at exposure frequencies of 10+, there is only a 1.3 percentage-point improvement in likelihood to visit vs. a 1.0 point improvement at 4-9 exposures. The benefit of a high number of exposures is in awareness, not store or site visits. If visits are the objective and budget is a concern, consider static images vs. rich media, and put less emphasis on frequency.
- Celebrities and rich media help improve brand favorability for retailers. A celebrity or child in an ad can generate a 3.0 point increase in brand favorability. Compare this to only a 1.5 point boost for celebrities in CPG ads or 2.3 point gains in entertainment ads. As a bonus, kids generate a healthy 1.7 point improvement in likelihood to visit a retailer compared to a statistically insignificant 0.7 percentage-point increase for adults.
For more on online advertising effectiveness, please view a sample of Dynamic Logic's Retail Industry Normative Report.
Source: *ShopperTrak; **comScore
Aaron Katz is Director of MarketNorms for Dynamic Logic in Providence, Rhode Island.