Advertising Matters, Survey Finds

Online sellers report pay-per-click campaigns are effective.

by staff writer
- May 13, 2009

Advertising is an important part of e-commerce and pay-per-click campaigns are the most effective ways of getting people to buy, according to results of a survey by an online publication.

Practical e-Commerce asked its readers about the importance of advertising, which methods they prefer and how effective these methods are. Pay-per-click campaigns came out on top with 79.3 percent of votes, the publication reported Monday. Nearly 28 percent of respondents said this form of advertising was "very effective."

"Absolutely, advertising is important!" one respondent noted. "Outside of PR, advertising is the most effective way of getting your message out to a mass audience."

About 44 percent of respondents purchase banner advertising, 37.5 percent prefer rich media ads and 36 percent use online video to promote their products.

Advertising is especially important when economic times are tight, writes Fortune contributor Bob Pittman.

"There's a reason that America is the largest consumer market in the world: It happens to be the largest market in the world. Advertising works—and it has been proven again and again for over a century," he reports. "Every successful business spends money on advertising, everything from public relations to TV to Internet-search advertising.

"It's a mistake to think of advertising merely as a cost," Pittman continues. "It's an investment, and like all investments, it can have a wide-reaching impact."

Consumer spending is at its lowest point in recent times, after falling 4.3 percent during 2008's fourth quarter. That's the largest drop recorded in almost 30 years, according to reports. And 87 percent of people say they will spend less because of the recession, according to news reports.

But online merchants aren't giving up. Some respondents to the survey are even trying to reach audiences through print—a medium some say is dying. According to Practical e-Commerce, 50 percent of respondents purchased print advertising. Still, 29.6 percent said they thought that method was not effective.

Respondents had the option of choosing the best advertising options among pay-per-click campaigns, banner advertising, online rich media, video, podcast, print ads, radio and TV ads, as well as catalogs and direct mail.

"We focus online," notes one survey respondent, "because that's where our customers are."

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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