Digital metrics company comScore, Inc., in partnership with dunnhumbyUSA released the results of an early series of studies it has conducted into the effectiveness of online advertising in building retail sales of consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.

The results: the Internet can be as effective an advertising medium as television advertising.

Over the course of twelve weeks, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40 percent of their target segment successfully grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9 percent. This compares to an average lift of 8 percent for TV advertising as measured by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and published in their seminal research paper "How Advertising Works."

The comScore dunnhumbyUSA research was conducted by examining the retail purchasing behavior of members of the comScore panel of 2 million Internet users who have given comScore explicit permission to monitor their online behavior. The studies focused on the 200,000 comScore and dunnhumbyUSA panelists who were members of supermarket loyalty programs and whose retail buying behavior was measured through point-of-sale UPC scanners when the panelists presented their membership cards at the checkout lanes of participating supermarket stores.

Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of comScore said in a statement: "These early results confirm the ability of online advertising to successfully build retail sales of CPG brands on par with the impact of television advertising. It is likely that the more precise targeting ability of the Internet—especially in terms of accurately reaching the desired demographic segment—is a key reason for its effectiveness.”

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