Study: Boosting online marketing spending helps CPG firms attract women

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New research claims consumer packaged goods marketers who increase their online marketing efforts can more effectively engage customers, particularly women, as more than a third (39 percent) of online adults are searching for these products online.

The research is from digital marketing agency iCrossing, New York and Scottsdale, AZ, which conducted a study called, "How America Searches: Consumer Packaged Goods." It is the fifth in a series of studies commissioned by iCrossing and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The study advocated using multiple online channels to market consumer packaged goods. Some of the techniques recommended were online and search engine marketing, targeting leading search engines and retailer Web sites as well as brand and specific product sites.

The report suggests that these channels present opportunities for attracting affluent and female consumers, and strengthening key brand elements around finding offers, locating information and conducting commerce.

Marketers should consider the high degree of correlation between search activity and buying intent when planning their Web collateral in order to driving on and offline sales, the report said.

Here are the key findings of the research:

- -- Thirty-nine percent of online U.S. adults have performed a search for consumer packaged goods online. This puts the category in the same rank as real estate and financial products and services.

--- Women were more likely than men to search online for seven of the 11 consumer packaged goods product categories presented to survey respondents. Footwear and apparel was the most popular category among both male and female online searchers.

-- Research into special offers and looking for coupons that can be used in stores were the most frequently cited reasons for searching for consumer packaged goods (60 percent and 52 percent, respectively). Furthermore, about two-thirds or more of those who search for nearly all types of consumer packaged goods indicated they would buy the product type somewhere - either online or offline.

-- Searchers make nearly equal use of search engines (67 percent), retailer Web sites (61 percent) and product/company sites (61 percent) to search for consumer packaged goods online. Only 26 percent go to shopping comparison sites and only 19 percent go to product ratings sites.

Rochester, NY-based Harris surveyed 2,345 U.S. adults Sept. 19-21, 2006. Of the group, 1,071 respondents search for consumer packaged goods online.

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