Unilever to up digital spend following display ad trial

Research by Unilever has shown that display ads work. Fact. Well, enough for the FMCG giant to spend more in 2017 on them anyhow!

unilever uses display marketing ads

Unilever’s research was all about digital ads served on sites like the Guardian and MailOnline, over a period of a month and a half. Using i2c’s customer insight data, ads were served to Sainsbury’s shoppers and bought one of Unilever’s brands.

Nectar loyalty card data was used to look at both online and offline purchases with the outcome of the trial showing an average ROI of £1.47, or $1.82 U.S. dollars, for every £1 ($1.24) spent. The six-week campaign increased offline as well as online sales. So Boom! It works!

“We got involved [in the project] because there is an acknowledgement within the business that consumers are shopping online more than ever before and so we wanted to adopt our shopper marketing plan to reflect this shift. Programmatic display seemed a good way to do this,” Stuart Jeffrey, Unilever’s Shopper Marketing Manager Homecare, told Marketing Week.

“The extra benefit here was that we could see how we were changing purchase intent due to the Nectar card data. That was a big sell. We can now go back to the business to show how the investment is working. We haven’t been able to do that to date to my knowledge.”

At Zigzag, we’ve had loads of experience testing display advertising and we too can confirm we’ve seen it do great things for clients. But with one big proviso. It’s not the best for Direct Response performance. If you’re going to look at the results and expect clicks to always turn into sales online, think again. Display is great for raising your brand profile and putting it in the context of relevant and supportive content, or getting it under the noses of exceptionally targeted potential consumers, but for last click sales? Nah, stick to search we say!

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