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Exposure to impressions of organic search results, paid search results, and online display advertising—and specific combinations of such media—produces both a measurable lift in brand favorability and likelihood to purchase, according to a study by iProspect and comScore.

Exposure to impressions of paid search produces the greatest lift in brand favorability (28%), the highest among the three types of digital assets studied.

However, various combinations of digital media also generate significant lift. For example, exposure to organic search results plus paid search results produces a 40% lift, while exposure to paid search plus display ads produces a lift of 11%.

Below, other findings from the "Real Branding Implications of Digital Media: An SEM, SEO & Online Display Advertising Study," by iProspect and comScore.

Likelihood to Purchase

Likelihood to purchase is similarly affected by impressions of various combinations of digital media.

Paid search is the most effective individual asset type, improving likelihood to purchase some 44%, while the most effective media combination is organic search plus paid search, boosting likelihood to purchase 73%.

Exposure to the combination of organic search and display advertising registers a 16% lift in likelihood to purchase.

Likelihood to Visit a Brand's Website

Exposure to impressions of paid search results plus organic search generates a 95% lift in likelihood to visit a website in the future.

As with brand favorability, paid search impressions produce the highest individual lift (53%) in likelihood to visit a brand's website, while organic search plus display produces a 32% lift.

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Impact of Digital Media Assets in Key Industries

Across five industries, retail, software, banking and financial services, hotels, and insurance, the study explored the impact of digital media assets, and combinations thereof.

Below, key industry-related highlights:

  • Retail: Exposure to paid search impressions nets a 35% lift in brand favorability, and a 54% lift in likelihood to purchase.
  • Software: Exposure to organic search impressions boosts likelihood to visit a website 37%, and likelihood to purchase a software product 30%, while organic search in combination with paid search generates a 58% lift.
  • Banking and financial services: Exposure to organic search and online display impressions produces a 44% lift in brand trust.
  • Hotels: Exposure to organic search results plus display impressions produces a 144% lift in likelihood to purchase.
  • Insurance: Exposure to organic search impressions produces a 150% lift in the likelihood to purchase.

About the data: The iProspect study was conducted from February to May 2010, among 2,261 members of comScore's online behavioral panel. The research spanned organic search, paid search, and online display ad impressions across 15 brands in five vertical industries: retail, insurance, banking/financial services, software, and hotels.

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