Toronto businesses looking to maintain a strong presence during the current economic downturn should incorporate pay per click (PPC) advertising in their marketing plans. Why? PPC advertising, although it costs money, brings faster results than other online marketing and, as new research suggests, it can also help increase a company’s brand profile.
Branding is a major focus of businesses today. Many realize that sales are going to drop to some extent as consumers close their wallets. But savvy business owners also know that when the economy bounces back – as it surely will – people will be only too happy loosen up the purse strings.
By using the recession as a time to work on their brand, companies can place themselves in a position of strength that will serve them well when people start spending again.
PPC – A Good Investment Even When Indicators Are Poor
The latest economic indicators for the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) show a considerable drop. Unemployment was at 6.4% in March ’08, but by March ’09 had increased to 8.9%. Retail sales in the building permit toronto Toronto CMA dropped 7.8% in the same period, and building permits nosedived by 41.9%, year over year.
In this economic climate, PPC makes good sense. Pay per click advertising draws highly motivated consumers with very particular needs. For that reason alone, it is worth investing in, even for a short time. By narrowly targeting these niche markets, businesses are more likely to reach them and find success in converting their product interest into sales. During times of recession, those few sales can make a big difference.
What is even more impressive about PPC advertising is the long-term effect on a company’s brand recognition.
Paid Search Boosts Brand Awareness
A study released in April, 2009 shows the impact of pay per click advertising on brand awareness and resonance with customers.
The study compares brand recall for three groups of customers: those who did not see a paid search ad, those who saw the ad, and those who clicked through to a company’s website.
For users who had seen ads, the final part of the survey – which focused on recall – was conducted 4 days after they first saw the ad. The survey used a numeric formula to calculate recall rates. The results send a very strong message about the value of pay per click advertising:
o People who saw the ad had about the same recall as those who did not, but for people who clicked through, the recall score jumped from 100 (no exposure) to 120 (saw ad and clicked through).
o When paid search was contrasted with mass media, it performed exceedingly well on scores of efficiency and effectiveness. Using a numeric score, paid search ranked over 700 points higher than radio and nearly 1,000 points higher than TV.
The bottom line? Pay per click advertising has a narrower focus, and is very effective at aiding brand recall. Branding is important because companies that are remembered first in their category are likely to be the first chosen by potential customers. In a day and age where sales are down, this brand boost is positive news for business.