Search Engine Marketing Firm iProspect Study Finds Offline Channels Drive Majority of Users to Search

39% of offline-influenced online searchers make a purchase.

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Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 20, 2007

Search engine marketing firm iProspect today released the iProspect Offline Channel Influence on Online Search Behavior Study. Sponsored by iProspect and conducted by JupiterResearch, the study reveals that 67% of the online search population is driven to search by offline channels. It also revealed that 39% of online searchers who are influenced by offline channels ultimately make a purchase.

Partnering with some of the most successful brands in the world, search engine marketing firm iProspect commissioned the study to gain a better understanding of online search users and how exposure to offline channels influences their search and purchase behavior.

Fielded in June 2007 by JupiterResearch, the survey was completed by a total of 2,322 randomly selected individuals from the Ipsos Insight U.S. online consumer panel, and was comprised of 25 questions about their behaviors, attitudes, and preferences as they relate to games, digital imaging, portable devices, and service bundles.

Amongst its key findings, the survey shows that offline channels clearly influence a significant percentage of online search users to subsequently perform queries on search engines based on the company name, product/service name, or slogan that appears in the messaging of that offline channel. Specifically, the study revealed that two-thirds of the online search population is driven to search by offline channels.

"At the outset of the study," said iProspect President Robert Murray, "we figured we'd see an even split between those influenced to search by offline channels, and those not influenced by offline. Needless to say, we were more than surprised to learn that a full 67% of online search users are driven to search by some offline channel."

Murray elaborated, "It's intuitive -- it makes sense that offline channel messaging could pique a user's curiosity enough to motivate them to search for additional information. But, most offline advertising doesn't exactly make it easy for customers to find a company's website."

The implication of this finding should be clear. Smart marketers have a huge opportunity to leverage offline channels to drive their audience to search for them or their products. Doing so could greatly enhance the effectiveness of their efforts.

"Think about it, said Murray, "Two-thirds of search users jump through hoops to perform those searches now. Imagine what that number would be if marketers actually made it easy for them."

Beyond examining the power of offline channels to drive search, the study also took a look at purchase behavior. Specifically, offline-influenced online searchers were asked whether they ultimately had made a purchase from the company whose website had been the object of their search. The data revealed that more than one-third do so. This translates into a 39% conversion rate, and suggests a synergistic relationship exists between search and offline channels.

"Sure, offline channels can drive traffic, but at the end of the day, it's pretty much meaningless if a purchase isn't made," said Murray. "Marketers want to know the pay-off. And the data from this study suggests that search and offline produce extremely impressive results. Savvy marketers will capitalize on that synergy."

The implication of this finding is immediately actionable. Marketers must take the necessary steps to develop and coordinate integrated messaging for their offline and search initiatives.

"Search is no longer an add-on consideration for marketers," said Murray. "It is front and center. And while it is a powerful channel on its own, it's clear that its efficacy is multiplied when combined with offline channels." Murray explained, "Today, it's incumbent upon marketers to integrate search with their offline efforts. Quite simply, their offline messaging needs to be memorable and facilitate search, and their search efforts need to echo that messaging and integrate those keywords. The bottom line is that integration is no longer optional."

About iProspect
iProspect is the Original Search Engine Marketing Firm. The company helps many of the world's most successful brands maximize their online marketing ROI through natural search engine optimization, paid inclusion management as a Yahoo! Search Submit Certified Ambassador, pay per click advertising management via their own patent-pending bid management agent called iSEBA, and numerous other related services.

With U.S. offices in Watertown, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California, as well as offices across the globe, iProspect can be contacted at 1-800-522-1152, or by visiting http://www.iprospect.com.

Proper attribution requires that the study is clearly identified as the iProspect Offline Channel Influence on Online Search Behavior Study.

Questions regarding this release should be directed to iProspect Media Relations Manager, Colleen Reed, at 1-800-522-1152 x1203 or creed(at)iprospect.com

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