CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies have long relied on TV 272889_empty_supermarket_3campaigns to brand their products but the findings of a recent comScore dunnhumbyUSA study indicate that online advertising is also an effective way to increase sales.  The researchers analyzed consumer behavior when it came to purchasing a large group of products ranging from cookie mixes to pasta to toothpaste. And this large-scale study, which included over 200,000 consumers, measured the rise in grocery store sales between panel members who viewed online advertising and a control group which did not see this advertising. Further, the researchers populated the study groups with consumers who possessed behavioral and demographic similarities in order to remove bias.

Based on study results, it appears that CPG companies can expect a 9% increase in sales at supermarkets as a result of online advertising. Various forms of online advertising – display, banner and rich media – were all considered effective in swaying consumer decisions once they got to the store.  These findings compare favorably to results measured after TV campaigns. A collection of IRI studies, published in their “How Advertising Works” paper, linked an 8% increase in supermarket sales to TV advertising.

These studies all reveal exciting return-on-investment data which is notoriously difficult and expensive to obtain. In addition, the information from the comScore dunnhumbyUSA report clearly points to a new channel that CPG marketers can use to effectively advertise their offerings.

[Source: comScore release, August 2009]