OPA Study: Web Bolsters Offline Campaigns

Research from the Online Publisher’s Association finds the Internet offers advertisers reach by itself, but also works to extend reach for campaigns on other channels. The data are part of research from “A Day in the Life: An Ethnographic Study of Media Consumption” conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design.

The researchers recorded the media consumption of 350 people in Indianapolis and Muncie, Indiana, and found consumers use the Web consecutively or simultaneously with other media, including television, print and radio.

“It really demonstrates that there’s incredible reach of the Web on its own, as well as [showing] the complementary nature of the Web and other media,” OPA President Pam Horan told ClickZ News. “One-fifth of all Web use is either immediately before, during, or immediately following TV viewing.”

Television’s reach was increased 51 percent in the morning, 39 percent at mid-day, and 42 percent in the afternoon daypart, when combined with online usage. Print experienced a similar lift with its height occurring in the evening daypart.

One-quarter of consumer media time is spent on the Web with the medium eclipsing all other channels during work hours. Horan pointed out that online ad dollars have yet to catch up to consumer usage. “[The Web] attracts about eight percent of advertising dollars,” she said. “While advertisers have been steadily moving to the Web in recent years, this research indicates the shift should be on a much faster pace.”

Internet ad spending continues to increase as other media lose ground. The first quarter saw a 38 percent increase in advertising dollars spent on the Web.

“I think that what the Web has accomplished in 10 years versus the 60 year history of TV is quite significant,” said Horan. “Hopefully you’ll see more of an alignment to reflect the audience.”

Respondents whose media consumption was dominated by the Web were determined to have higher buying power than the TV-dominant study subjects. Researchers came to this conclusion by taking study findings and matching them to neighborhood Census data to determine annual retail spending and annual entertainment and recreational spending. Web-dominant subjects were found to have $26,450 in average retail spending power versus $21,401 for TV-dominant respondents. Entertainment and recreation spending among Web users averaged $3,281 versus $2,626 for the TV-dominant cohort.

“Not only is the buying power there, but also the engagement of the consumer with the media,” said Horan. “Hopefully this demonstrates the fact that this is a valuable audience for marketers.”

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