With the advent of new technologies, additional methods of advertising become available to marketing professionals. Numerous services now employ online ads, which are theoretically similar to those used in other forms of media but differ to adjust to the specific circumstances of the Internet. According to Lewis and Reiley (2014), practical uses of the new approaches to advertising can result in significant increases in sales. As such, more and more companies are adapting and creating strong online presences to promote their brand and attract more customers from new societal groups.
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There exists an essential distinction in sales with regards to their nature. Online sales are usually performed entirely through the website of a company, with a variety of retrieval or delivery options available to the customer. Some companies, for example, Amazon, make such sales their central proposition, an approach that has proven successful. Nevertheless, traditional, or offline, retailing remains an essential part of most companies’ strategies. Online advertising is useful for brand promotion even if the company does not conduct any sales online, as its effect in such a case is similar to that of a traditional advertisement.
The Influence of Online Ads on Online Sales
It is possible to assume that online ads are highly effective if one aims to increase online sales. The banner can link a user directly to the company website, where he or she would be able to make a purchase immediately. This trait is absent in much of traditional advertising, as in their case, the consumer may not decide to buy the product on the spot. Furthermore, he or she would have to search for a nearby outlet and visit the location. The removal of the limitations should be beneficial to the overall effect of marketing.
However, this assumption may not be correct for a variety of reasons. As Basker (2016) mentions, research has discovered a proportionally low increase in online sales as opposed to offline ones after the implementation of an Internet marketing campaign. One reason is that with physical products, the offline environment can provide the guarantee that the customer will get the product immediately whereas the online version is usually, if not always, associated with delays. In addition, an offline environment allows for activities such as a preliminary inspection of the product, while a website can only provide a list of specifications.
The Use of Synergy to Promote Offline Sales
The use of different media to promote a company’s products can result in a phenomenon that is known as synergy. When it is present, the overall result of the campaign becomes greater than the sum of its components had they been applied individually. Naik and Peters (2015) state that more than a third of the overall impact of advertising is attributed to synergies between various single-media campaigns. The emergence of the Internet as a medium for ads enables a new level of interaction between different methods. As such, knowledge of its ability to work with other media is essential to modern marketers.
The primary mechanism through which synergy operates is increased saturation that reinforces consumers’ memories of the other ads they have experienced. According to Naik and Peters (2015), people would partly or entirely remember TV commercials upon hearing radio ads for the same product. Furthermore, Naik and Peters (2015) define the Internet as a separate media from its offline counterparts and assert the existence of a more total, higher-order synergy. Thus, it may be able to amplify the internal synergies of other advertising approaches, which makes online promotions essential for marketing.
Basker, E. (Ed.). (2016). Handbook on the economics of retailing and distribution. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
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Lewis, R. A., & Reiley, D. H. (2014). Online ads and offline sales: Measuring the effects of retail advertising via a controlled experiment on Yahoo! Quantitative Marketing and Economics, 12, 235-266.
Naik, P. A., & Peters, K. (2015). True synergy for real effects: How to control integrated marketing successfully. GfK Marketing Intelligence Review, 7(1), 34-41.