Instinctively we've all known there is a relationship between display advertising and search advertising with the former always presumed to have a positive impact on the latter but this has rarely been quantified outside of individual client studies. However a new US study by Comscore has confirmed this relationship and gone deep in to what the dynamics of this synergy actually are. To summarize:
1) 46% lift in site visits vs control over a four week period
2) 38% lift in use of advertisers brand term within a search
3) 27% higher online purchase intent
This is all interesting and the basic insight is that people don't really click on banner ads but they do respond to them in different ways and hopefully this will put another nail in the coffin as clicks as a benchmark for campaign success.
But for us, the most interesting insight in this relationship comes in looking at the size of audience exposed to different ads. In terms of reach, 81% of the audience only saw a display ad whilst only 8% received only a search ad. In effect this is saying that display and search are connected in a cause and effect way within the purchase process and the number of people who search for a brand is positively linked to the amount of display advertising that a client is doing. This has big implications at the current time where budgets are being cut everywhere. Instinctively it feels like display advertising should be scaled back as click based ROI is much higher for search but in doing this, search will actually become increasingly less effective over time as no new leads are being fed into 'the funnel.' Braver clients will stick to their guns on display and as inventory prices fall will reap the rewards in overall ROI whilst a knee jerk reaction to plough everything in to display could be the start of another death spiral......
Food for thought.