Study: Small Budget Increase Yields High Sales for Entertainment Products

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A 1 percent increase in an online entertainment marketing budget can increase post release sales 100 percent, according to a new study.


The Forrester Research study, called "Bigger Hits With Net Marketing," said entertainment marketers should accelerate online word-of-mouth and control post-release buzz to encourage consumers to actively contribute to an online dialogue about a product after its release.


For the study, which was released this week, Forrester interviewed 21 top entertainment companies.


According to Forrester, Cambridge, MA, entertainment marketers are struggling to use the Internet to its maximum marketing advantage by only using Internet strategies when they feel the demographic match is right and not expecting big Internet-driven change.


"Marketers understand that the Internet and word-of-mouth can help generate buzz, but they don't know how to foster it to extend awareness of a product beyond its initial release," said Eric Scheirer, an analyst at Forrester Research. "By shifting just 1 percent of a marketer's Web budget to fund online word-of-mouth efforts, entertainment companies can help move consumers through the product consideration and buying cycle faster, doubling a book's sales or boosting box office grosses by as much as $15 million per film."


Forrester said studios and design shops commonly spend $200,000 or more to build bloated Web sites for new entertainment offerings that often confuse or frustrate visitors. It said marketers should invest online marketing dollars to foster online discussion, accelerate word-of-mouth and speed up customers' awareness-consideration-purchase cycle.


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