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To boost advertising results, consider improving your web site

OSHKOSH, Wis. - The secret to building better advertising campaigns may be to build a better web site.

According to a recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, consumers use the Internet to investigate and supplement the information they get from traditional advertising. As a result, ads that allow consumers to go online to learn more are likely to perform better than ads that don’t provide an effective online destination.

“Integrating ads with a web site can maximize their effectiveness, “ said co-author James Tsao. “Consumers use the Internet to gather information they need to make a buying decision. It provides a place for them to learn more while maintaining control.”

Campaigns most positively influenced by the Internet, according to the study are television, radio, magazine advertising, direct mail and billboards. A good Internet site can improve these campaigns because consumers to see the advertising are likely to evaluate the products and services of interest to them online.

Businesses that want to boost the results of traditional advertising need to dovetail their advertising strategies with Internet strategies rather than viewing them as independent channels.
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Provide a consistent brand experience
Anticipate that consumers will visit the web site after viewing ads elsewhere – even if the ad doesn’t specifically mention a web site. Ensure that consumers who see your latest ads don’t land on a web site that meets a lower standard.

Consider the Internet the “next step” to every ad
Web sites serve as a natural consumer destination for all outgoing advertising communications. Let your Web site take a hand-off from ads and provide consumers with a deeper level of product knowledge.

Educate consumers online – even when selling to them offline
Consumers spend less time thinking about your products, services and industry than you do. Provide them with the information they need to know about your industry, your products and your services in order to make an informed buying decision.

Use the Internet to make your case
Consumers who visit your web site are looking for meaningful information to distinguish your company’s products and services from your competitors. Use the web site to highlight distinct features offered by your company. Provide side-by-side comparisons of products.

While the UW-Oshkosh study shows that the Internet is more complimentary to traditional advertising than it is competitive, some traditional methods of advertising will suffer as consumers go online. For example, the study suggests that the Internet is likely to outperform weekly and biweekly advertising media as consumers adapt to the “instant availability” of online news.

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Troy Janisch is president and founder of the Icon Interactive Group (www.iconinteractive.com), an industry leader helping companies integrate Internet and other Interactive media into sales channels, marketing strategies, and overall branding. He can be contacted by email at tjanisch@iconinteractive.com.

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The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, & do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

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