Google CPG blog - News and Notes from Google"s CPG Vertical

Paid Search Builds Brands: Unilever Success Story

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Posted by Jenny Liu, Industry Marketing Manager, CPG

In 2008, Google's U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods Team released a series of Brand Value of
Search (BVOS) Studies that communicated how paid search was able to raise brand metrics such as aided awareness, purchase consideration and purchase intent for the following sub-verticals: beverage, household laundry, salty snack and cosmetics. These studies helped the industry view how search could be used effectively for more than direct response.

To give you a bit more insight on how customers have used search effectively for
reasons other than direct response, we'd like to share a new Brand Value of Search study conducted out of Google's UK office. Google, in association with Unilever, Mindshare and research partner MetrixLab, fielded a study with 5,000 mothers with children under 15, to test the efficiency and effectiveness of paid search for Unilever's Flora brand's "Cooking with Schools" campaign. Flora is one of Unilever's biggest food brands and has brand associations of cholesterol reduction, hearth health and the London Marathon. Flora was seeking to better extend this assocation with family, kids, cooking and nutrition. Not only did they want to increase traffic to their website but they also wanted to be top of mind for their target audience.

To measure this, Metrix Lab administered online surveys to the 5,000 mothers and then cut the data in ways to isolate media exposure. Respondents were asked to conduct search tasks such as "research healthy recipes" or "activities to do with your kids", and the test group would be exposed to a sponsored link promoting Flora's Cooking with Schools campaign.

This study was unique in several ways that allow us to dig more in-depth into the brand power of paid search.

First, the study took a look at the difference in brand value between consumers exposed to the sponsored link but did not click through to Flora's website, and those did click through. The results showed a 19% lift in brand metrics in those who were exposed to a sponsored link (paid search ad) and clicked through.

As ClickZ notes in a recent write-up, "The results in lift are significant and, because PPC search marketers pay only for the click, the lift in branding due to the sponsored link is free."

Second, it was able to show that paid search was 10x more efficient than TV at raising Top of Mind Awareness, and 4x more efficient than Radio, for this campaign.

Third, the study illustrates the synergistic value of paid search and traditional offline media.
Print plus search is 9% more efficient at impacting brand value than print alone.

As reported in an article published by Marketing Week UK, Amanda Smith, relationship marketing manager at Flora, adds, "We are now seeing the impact sponsored search can have on branding and how it can work with other media, both on and offline, to bring us the most effective campaigns."

This finding is highly valuable to every marketer who is being asked to make the most of every penny spent on their campaign, and who are being held acccountable for how efficient and effective their campaigns perform.

We have the full study available to share with you upon request. Just inquire with your Google account sales team!