There's Much More to the Conversion Story than the Last Click

The results of the IAB's Customer Conversion Journey research in the automotive sector illustrate the relationship between exposure to different online activities including display advertising, sponsored search, natural search and buzz - and site visitation and online conversions.

Some of the key findings include:

  • •Between 4% and 11% were converting online following visits to the brand websites
  • •Between 52% and 64% of visitors to the brand websites were exposed to online activity such as display and search
  • •Between 0.5% and 2.9% of consumers exposed to online display advertising visited advertisers website post exposure - this ranges between five and 15 times more than site visitation of those not exposed, who were in the control group
Commenting on the results, Chris Evans, UK managing director of IgnitionOne, said: "I'm pleased to see the IAB's study illustrates the importance of cross-channel attribution - it's an issue we've been emphasising at IgnitionOne since 2006. In our view, there's much more to the conversion story than the last click.

"The first thing that stands out is the range of media touchpoints influencing each customer, from display, to social, to search. To be successful in this market, it is clear that automotive marketers need to be able to measure across all of these touchpoints, and to understand how much each one influences the customer.

"Ultimately, it's vital that the each milestone in the customer conversion journey is given a precise value. By not doing so, marketers can't accurately manage and assign their online media spend.

"Perhaps the most surprising thing the research shows is the short duration of the customer journey to conversion - just over a week. Cars are most consumers' second biggest purchase, so they consider them carefully.

"When I worked at GM, a three-month consideration period was deemed normal. I suspect the customers tracked in the study are those that are closest to purchase, demonstrating the power of digital to drive people from passive consideration to active purchase behaviour."
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