Nearly half of Internet users who respond to display advertising eventually do a search related to the ad they viewed, according to a new study from iProspect.

The study found search engine marketing and display advertising have a closer relationship than many marketers have thought. The study shows that Internet users initially respond to the medium as follows: 31percent responds by directly clicking on an ad; 27 percent respond by searching for a product or brand on a search engine; 21 percent respond by typing the company Web address into their browser and visiting the website; and 9 percent respond by using social media. Overall, 52 percent of Internet users actively respond to display advertising.

Robert J. Murray

"The key message from this study is that online display advertising is far from dead -- its 31% direct response rate confirms that," said Robert Murray, CEO, iProspect. "However, it is interesting to see that almost as many people initially respond to display ads by performing a search as those who actually click on an ad. In essence, search becomes an alternative mechanism for Internet users to respond to online display."

"Considering that, this finding has an important message for marketers -- if they are going to invest in online display, then they should leverage search marketing to help them capture the demand that display advertising creates. In other words, they should consider search as a form of insurance for their display investment."

One third of Internet users (33%) who respond to display advertising eventually purchase from a company with which they are familiar - more that twice the number who eventually purchase after learning of an offering/company for the first time from display advertising (14%).

"At the end of the day, the findings from this study closely tie search and online display advertising together," said Murray. "Overall, they tell a story of improved efficacy, which is a message that marketers should find particularly compelling during these trying economic times when they are being asked to do more with less."


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