Here’s an important piece of information for anyone contemplating an online advertising campaign and wondering, “What will the ROI be?” It turns out, online advertising can increase offline sales at physical locations.
A study by market research firm RapidBlue found that when businesses ran online ad campaigns using Google’s text-based AdWords format, the volume of shoppers entering their physical storefront locations increased by double-digits. Not only that, but the people who entered the stores spent more time there, as well.
This is significant because it demonstrates that the ROI of online ad campaigns cannot be measured through online conversions alone. On the contrary: marketers must begin to think of the advertisements they buy on the Internet as a complement to the advertisements they buy in other media, such as the local newspaper.
Getting your message in front of your target audience is what will bring you business. If your audience is reading the paper, you buy an ad there. If your audience is surfing the web, you buy an ad there. The more they see your name, the more they remember you, the more interested in your product they become, and the more likely they are to think of your brand first when they are ready to make a purchase.
Despite what the popular news media sometimes seems to imply, the Internet has not changed the basic psychology of human nature. Some people prefer to touch and hold a product before they make a purchase, rather than paying good money for a picture on their screen. Some people prefer to get an item the same day, rather than pay for shipping and wait several days. Some people still like to have an interaction with a salesperson who can answer their questions; or they like to feel assured that their return process will be straightforward, should the product turn out to have a problem.
But an online advertisement may still induce all of these people to visit your store. In fact, this study demonstrates that your ad may even influence customers to spend more time at your store, seriously considering their purchase, and maybe making an impulse buy on the side. It’s great news for marketers everywhere, and something to keep in mind as you plan your next marketing campaign:
Offline sales are increased by online advertising.