Thursday, November 15, 2007

Web Site Spending Draws Ad Dollars

NOVEMBER 15, 2007

Central meeting grounds for companies and consumers.

While Internet advertising may get more attention these days, online marketers also recognize the importance of their own Web sites, according to a SDL Tridion-sponsored study conducted by PK Data.

Nearly six in 10 marketers said that the Web was critical to their global brand and marketing strategies.

"Companies spend immeasurable billions on their Web sites," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. "In most cases, without those central meeting grounds for companies and consumers, all the measured billions spent on online advertising such as paid search—which looks to drive traffic to company sites—would be for naught."

According to 79% of the marketing executives surveyed in 2007 by McKinsey, a company’s consumer site was the primary online channel used to sell products or services.

Even when not used directly for e-commerce sales, company sites were used to entice consumers by providing product and service information, to engage their sensibilities with the brand and to obtain their e-mail addresses for further marketing interactions.

Consumers also generally trust ads they find on company Web sites, according to a Nielsen study. Six in 10 consumers said they trusted ads on brand Web sites. Only word-of-mouth, newspapers and consumer opinions posted online scored higher.

Marketers' focus on sites is not just maintenance. Mr. Hallerman said that Web-based customer contact is one of the reasons spending is shifting away from advertising media, along with product integration (also known as product placement).

"Ad spending growth will be soft in 2007 as a result of these shifts, at only 2.1%," Mr. Hallerman said.

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