Survey: Paid Search Reaches Big-Ticket Item Consumers


Media Post Publications

 by Tameka Kee, Thursday, Mar 6, 2008 7:00 AM ET

ONE OF EVERY 10 INTERNET users is “influenced” or “greatly influenced” by sponsored links when it comes to searching for products or services on the Web, according to data from a recent BIGresearch Simultaneous Media (SIMM) survey.

The Columbus, Ohio-based consumer research firm surveyed more than 15,700 Web users for the SIMM 11 report, and found that the 9% of respondents who were influenced by sponsored links were often prime targets for those ads in the first place–as a significant portion of them said that they’d be undergoing major life changes that warranted big-ticket purchases like computers and furniture within the near future.

For example, roughly 12% of sponsored link-influenced respondents said that they were planning for their child (or themselves) to start college within the next six months, compared to just 6% of non-influenced respondents. Meanwhile, about 7% were planning to get married, 5% were planning to have a baby and 4% were anticipating retiring within less than a year.

According to Gary Drenik, president of BIGresearch, these life-changing events give consumers a razor-sharp focus when it comes to searching for information about a product or service that relates to the event.

“Think about it–if someone is in the market to buy a computer for themselves, or possibly for their child who’s going off to college, they’re going to do it online,” Drenik said. “A person could watch TV for 24 hours straight and still not get as much info about buying a computer as they would in five minutes on the Internet.”

Indeed, about 25% of all respondents who were influenced by sponsored links said that they were in the market to purchase a computer, a television, furniture, an automobile, or a vacation package within the next six months. In contrast, the average for non-influenced respondents for the same five categories hovered at about 17%.

Drenik said that the data creates a compelling case for the efficacy of paid search as an ad model, particularly for advertisers concerned about a recession. “For companies that are complaining about their business not growing or wringing their hands about the economy, here are the people that are looking to make purchases, and this is the way to reach them,” Drenik said.




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