Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Joint WPP/Google Research Program – Trying to Solve the Media Mix Riddle

One of the aspects of online advertising that marketers value most is its measurability. Whether you’re running a direct response or branding initiative, the ability to measure campaign performance on the Web is generally easier, and more accurate, than most other media. That said, one frustration for many marketers has been the inability to determine the effect of their online ads in relation to ads they run on traditional media, and vice versa.

With that blind spot in mind, WPP and Google announced today that they will be kicking off a research initiative that will attempt to answer that very question. The research will study the combined effect of digital and traditional ads, and how they influence consumer perceptions and purchase decisions. Ultimately, the research should help establish criteria to help marketers make more informed decisions when making media mix and budgeting decisions.

According to a WPP press release, 11 research grants were issued out of a field of more than 120 submissions - press release can be found at:

The research topics are quite varied and address a range of factors that come into play when determining the impact of advertising on consumer attitudes and behavior. Here’s a sampling of the selected research topics:

  • Effect of Online Exposure on Offline Buying: How Online Exposure Aids or Hurts Offline Buying by Increasing the Impact of Offline Attributes
  • Does Internet Advertising Help Established Brands or Niche ("Long Tail") Brands More?
  • Targeting Ads to Match Individual Cognitive Styles: A Market Test
  • How do Consumers Determine What is Relevant? A Psychometric and Neuro-Scientific Study of Online Search and Advertising Effectiveness
  • A Comprehensive Model of the Effects of Brand-Generated and Consumer-Generated Communications on Brand Perceptions, Sales and Share

Personally, I can’t wait to see the output.

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