Troubled with an inability to track the effectiveness of his advertising dollars, John Wanamaker, the father of modern marketing, famously quipped: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
The lack of hard metrics available to measure the success of traditional advertising has since been dubbed the Wanamaker problem, and has eluded marketers for years. While it was understood then as it is understood now that advertising is a compulsory part of doing business, the value of a print ad, radio spot, or TV commercial is inherently difficult to determine. Beyond calculating reach, there is little marketers can do to measure the effect an advertisement has on their bottom line.
Luckily, the shift to Internet advertising and specifically, search engine marketing, has presented marketers with new opportunities to deliver more transparent and fiscally-responsible ad campaigns. Pay-per-click advertising revolutionized the industry allowing marketers to cut eliminated advertising spend by targeting people actively seeking their products and services, performance marketing let brands expand their reach while assuming none of the financial risk and paying only for results, and search engine optimization gave brands visible proof of their investment in the form of top placement in the search engines.
However, despite the considerable advances in tracking that have come with the advent of online marketing, elements of the Wanamaker problem still exist, especially when it comes to display.
The Facts About Display Advertising
At a recent conference, a Product Manager for Google Campaign Insights, a tool to measure the effectiveness of display ads, addressed the fact that 33% of display advertising has ‘no lift’. In other words, 33% of display advertising does nothing to boost brand awareness or drive sales. Moreover, just as in Wanamaker’s day, marketers are unable to determine which 1/3 of display ads are ineffective.
How Display Drives Paid Search
Despite a lack of metrics to measure the effectiveness of display, it has been shown that display ads drive Internet searches, and adding a paid search component to a display campaign can boost results.
Specifically, a recent study conducted by search engine marketing firm iProspect found that:
- 31% of people who see a display ad click on the ad itself
- 27% of people who see a display ad perform a related search
These two statistics tell us a lot about the relationship between display and search: not only does display drive online searching behavior, but the number of Internet users who click on a display ad is nearly equal to the number who performs a related search instead. While display generates brand awareness, and in some cases drives traffic, adding a paid search component to a display campaign helps a brand capitalize on generated demand and ensures momentum is not lost if the user decides to perform a search rather than click on the ad.
The Risk Of Running A Display Campaign Without Paid Search
While the benefits of integrating paid search and display are apparent, there are some marketers who may opt to run a display campaign alone. Assuming the campaign is compelling, running display without a search component will lead to demand creation and drive Internet searches. But what will happen once these searches are performed?
Without paid search to back up a display campaign, one may very well be creating demand for a competitor. If a PPC ad doesn’t show up in the sponsored listings when a user performs a display-driven search, competitor advertisements will.
While driving traffic to a competitor’s website is not something any brand sets out to do, running display without a paid search component may achieve just that!
The Big Picture
By now it should be clear paid search is a vital complement to any display campaign, but looking at the bigger and less immediate picture gives us even more reason to combine the two tactics.
The iProspect study mentioned above also found:
What does this tell us? The results of any marketing campaign are not always immediate and advertisements do not always lead to a direct action. Display advertising is no different. In turn, integrating paid search into a display campaign will help capitalize on actions taken by users exposed to your brand in the past.
In the end, adding a paid search component to a display campaign improves one’s chance of converting Internet users into customers and decreases the chance that spend on display (or any media, for that matter) will put money in the pockets of competitors.
We hope this article helps you understand how display advertising and paid search work together. If you have any comments or questions, or would like more information on search engine marketing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.