Press Releases

October 23, 2007

Search Marketing Vital for Brand Building and Driving Offline Sales for Consumer Packaged Goods Companies

comScore Releases Joint Study with P&G, SEMPO, And Yahoo! Revealing the Opportunity Search Represents for CPG Marketing

RESTON, VA, October 23, 2007 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released findings from a major research study analyzing the role of online search in generating Web site traffic for a number of consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) categories, including baby care, personal care, home care, and packaged food. The study, entitled “The Digital Shelf: the Opportunity for Search Marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods,” was conducted in partnership with Procter & Gamble, Yahoo!, and the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) to help the CPG industry better understand the opportunity to grow sales using search marketing.

“While search marketing has long been recognized as an effective direct response vehicle, it’s been largely overlooked by CPG companies who focus on brand advertising and promotional efforts to drive in-store purchasing,” commented Gord Hotchkiss, Chairman of SEMPO. “This study seeks to demonstrate the potential brand-building impact of search for CPG marketers.”

Millions of Consumers Use Search to Learn About CPG Products

Search appears to represent a significant marketing opportunity for CPG brands. The study found that a majority of U.S. consumers visited Web sites for CPG product categories during the three months ending April 2007, with search driving a significant percentage of visitors in all the categories. Food products represented the largest search marketing opportunity with nearly 44 million category site visitors searching. Baby products attracted 15.7 million searchers, followed by personal care products with 9.8 million and household products with 1.7 million.

The study also found that a substantial percentage of the visitors to category Web sites arrived as a result of a search query. Among visitors to baby products sites, 60 percent arrived via search, followed by 47 percent in food products, 27 percent in personal care products, and 23 percent in household products.

Search as a Driver of Traffic to CPG Web Sites
February 2007 – April 2007
Total U.S. Market
Source: comScore Digital Shelf Study (Behavioral)
Web Site Category

Unique Visitors to Category Sites

(MM)

Unique Visitors that Used Search to Reach Category Sites (MM) Percent of Unique Category Visitors that Used Search to Reach Category Sites
Food Products 93.7 43.8 47%
Personal Care Products 35.9 9.8 27%
Baby Products 26 15.7 60%
Household Products 7.3 1.7 23%

“It’s evident that a significant search marketing opportunity exists for CPG companies,” said James Lamberti, comScore senior vice president of media, “Brand managers should be placing more emphasis on this channel to influence the long term health of their brands.”

CPG Searchers are Researching and Seeking Help with their Purchase Decisions

As part of the study, comScore conducted a survey to determine the attitudes of visitors to CPG Web sites, dividing respondents into two segments: those who use search to find these sites and those who do not. The survey revealed that searchers were significantly more involved in obtaining information and demonstrated higher category engagement than non-searchers. Specifically, 73 percent of searchers were motivated by product research, 64 percent were seeking help with the purchase decision, 47 percent were looking for promotions and just 29 percent were specifically looking for the company website. Conversely, non-searchers’ top motivation was to obtain information on promotions (59 percent), to conduct product research (58 percent) or to obtain help with their purchase decision (44 percent).

Q: “What motivated you to visit this site?”
February 2007 – April 2007
Total U.S. Market
Source: comScore Digital Shelf Study (Survey)
Motivation for Visiting the CPG Site Searchers Non-Searchers
Information & Help 73% 58%
 Find more information about products 48% 36%
 Learn about new products 44% 38%
 Compare competitive products 26% 10%
 Consumer and professional reviews 21% 10%
Purchase Decision 64% 44%
 Help me make a purchase decision 40% 28%
 Get/compare products 36% 23%
 Find where to buy/local places 31% 15%
Promotion 47% 59%
 Find out about special offers 40% 47%
See official company website 29% 22%

“Our deeper understanding of the motivations around search behavior underscores the opportunity to leverage search for more than just direct response marketing,” said Randy Peterson, Search Innovation Manager from Procter & Gamble. “Search may be one of the most effective means of reaching qualified consumers when and where they are most receptive to learning about our brands. Ultimately this drives offline sales.”

CPG Searchers Spend More Than Average

In addition to quantifying the extent of search activity and measuring consumer motivations, the study also profiled consumers across a variety of dimensions, including category purchasing, attitudes, and demographics. On every dimension analyzed, packaged goods category searchers represented a highly attractive target segment. Perhaps most compelling, searchers spent approximately 20 percent more than non-searchers across the four categories studied, further confirming the importance of search as a potential driver of offline purchase behavior.

CPG Product Category Spending: Searchers vs. Non-Searchers
February 2007 – April 2007
Total U.S. Market
Source: comScore Digital Shelf Study (Survey)
Category Searchers Non-Searchers
Food Products $51.91 $41.69
Personal Care Products $40.30 $32.34
Baby Products $52.19 $46.36
Household Products $62.56 $52.09

A Substantial Opportunity Exists: Want to Learn More?

Full results of the study will be presented in various upcoming industry events and in a webinar for marketers and leaders in the search industry. “Today search marketing offers an incredible opportunity for the savvy packaged goods marketer,” said Matt Wilburn, senior category director for Yahoo!’s consumer packaged goods vertical. “It provides a scaled, cost-effective means of connecting with in-market consumers at a critical brand-building moment.”

To learn more, requests for invitations to the webinars on the study should be directed to TheDigitalShelf@comScore.com .

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore analysts apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by more than 700 clients, including global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, BBC, Carat, Cyworld, Deutsche Bank, France Telecom, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Financial Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, Starcom, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Verizon, ViaMichelin, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com

About the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)
SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research, and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing. Representing thousands in over 30 countries, SEMPO has over 630 members. It represents the common interests of companies and consultants worldwide and provides them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO's education and outreach initiatives are sponsored in part by Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Superpages.com, Atlas, and Search Engine Strategies. For more information, or to join the organization, please visit www.SEMPO.org.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
comScore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

Tags: CPG