Online advertising’s effect on purchase intent and sales

Millward Brown have been in the business of measuring changes in brand metrics from exposure to online advertising for quite a few years. They emphasise that marketers should be measuring (brand) online advertising not by the humble click through rate, but by a change in brand metrics.

Clicks & Purchase Intent

This isn’t a new argument and one that I do agree with.

Purchase Intent is a metric that I use on a daily basis when working on digital strategy and planning for FMCG (CPG) brands. However, how many of those people that said they intended to purchase went on to actually do so?

50-70% of people follow through on their purchase intent after seeing online advertising.

Millward Brown Purchase Intent Online Advertising
I was pretty pleased that I found this stat, it’s one that I’d looking for for years! This informs and supports my estimates in ROI models.

However, my joy was short lived. Millward Brown go on to say that over the last three years, 39% of online advertising has in fact had a negative effect on purchase intent:
Clicks don't equal purchase intent

This is pretty bad! 39% of online advertising isn’t having little or no effect….it’s having a NEGATIVE effect!  We, as an industry, need to change that. We need to start producing better ads. Helpfully, Millward Brown give some tips for doing this:

Golden rules for online advertising

Oh, and consider using video ads…

Video ads and purchase intent

Full Slideshare from Millward Brown.

New larger online display formats better for building awareness

Millward Brown and the IAB have ran a study looking into some of the new larger online display formats (Billboard, Wallpaper and Half Page) against the standard ad formats (MPU, Banner, Skyscraper).

They looked at the ad format’s effect on Brand awareness, Ad awareness, Message association, Brand favourability, Purchase intent

The results weren’t that surprising. The study basically found that the larger formats are better at the start of the purchase funnel / customer journey – they are great for creating awareness.

The good old Skyscraper is still the best for aiding purchase intent though…..  go figure.