Paid Search Boosts Top of Mind Awareness

10/29/2009 11:44:00 AM

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With search being central to the consumer shopping cycle, search should be part of your strategy to not only drives sales, but also build your brand awareness as consumers are considering what gifts to buy for the holidays.

In a joint test with Levi's, Google found that paid search ads, whether or not clicked, raised consumer awareness of the Levi's brand.

When in-market consumers were asked which brand of jeans came to mind, 53% of consumers named Levi's when a Levi's search ad was in the top sponsored position, compared to 30% who named Levi's when there was no Levi's search ad on the page. (a statistically significant lift)

Better yet, when Levi's "non-customers" (people who hadn't bought Levi's jeans in the past 6 months) were asked the same question, 45% named Levi's when the ad was in the top sponsored position, versus 23% who named Levi's when there was no ad in the search results. (also statistically significant)

Placing your ad in top paid position can increase top of mind awareness for both current customers and non-customers, a desirable outcome at the time when consumers are making their holiday gift lists.

Source: Google/OTX Brand Lift of Search study, April 2009. Research was sponsored by Google, conducted by OTX, an independent marketing research company, in a controlled "laboratory" format that mimicked an actual online search query. Question asked: "Thinking about specific brands of jeans, which one brand comes to mind? Please only write in the first brand that comes to mind." Results are a significant increase from control (no exposure) at 95% confidence. n=2,000 online consumers who had recently purchased jeans or intended to soon.


Josh F said...

This is an interesting study. We are frequently asked if there is a brand lift from such advertising, and it's good to have some data that provides an "upper bound" on what can be achieved. We have some concerns about the study's extensibility to other brands, which we address in more detail here. It would be nice to see similar studies for lesser-known brands and in different ad positions.

Unknown said...

Interesting, but does that awareness turn into something concrete - consumers going to a website and/or making a purchase? I also wonder if this holds for lesser/unknown brands.


Unknown said...

Josh, Google has done over 40 of these "brand lift of Search" studies, across categories and for companies large and small. We consistently find that visibility in top paid position provides a statistically significant brand lift.

Unknown said...

Nefarious, yes, it's certainly difficult to jump from brand awareness to purchase. This is the goal of marketers everywhere. We know that the first step is making consumers aware of your brand - if they're not aware, they clearly won't buy. Google's "brand lift of Search" studies point out that (in addition to being an effective direct response channel) Search is a tool to help get your brand into the consumer mindset.