Newspaper advertising drives online traffic.

New consumer research conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo and commissioned by Google indicates that consumers frequently combine use of newspapers and the Internet to evaluate and make purchases, the Newspaper Association of America said today. According to the study, among people who research products and services after seeing them advertised in newspapers, two-thirds (67 percent) use the Internet to find more information. Of that group, nearly 70 percent of consumers actually make a purchase following their additional research.

The research released today was the result of a wide-ranging study exploring the effectiveness of bringing new advertisers to the newspaper print environment through the Google Print Ads platform. Earlier NAA studies have shown that newspapers continue to serve as a major resource for U.S. consumers seeking advertising and shopping information.

“NAA research has repeatedly shown that newspaper advertising is incredibly effective in motivating consumers to make a purchase. This new study lends powerful support to that notion, while demonstrating that print ads also drive people to conduct additional product research online,” said John F. Sturm, NAA president and CEO. “The study also shows the trust consumers place in newspaper ads and the benefits of advertising in both mediums to reinforce consumer confidence in those products and services.”

“The results of the study confirm a core marketing principle – consumers’ exposure to advertising messages across mediums influences their subsequent research and purchasing behavior,” said Spencer Spinnell, head of Google’s Print Ads program. “Newspaper advertisements drive readers to the Web, where they search, find and obtain products. New advertising mediums have not evolved in a vacuum. Rather, they exist in a highly connected ecosystem and impact consumers’ daily experiences. Marketers deploying truly holistic and integrated advertising campaigns are actively aware of the high-value customer interactions that take place online, and are leveraging the branding and direct response nature of newsprint to effectively take advantage of that dynamic.”

Additional data from the research includes:

– Newspaper readers respond to ads in their newspapers. More than half (56 percent) of respondents either researched or purchased at least one product they saw in the newspaper in the last month.
– Newspaper advertising drives Web traffic. Of those who said they researched at least one product they saw in the newspaper, 67 percent said they conducted research online, compared with 48 percent who visited a store, 23 percent who called a store and 23 percent who asked a friend.
– Use of newspapers and the Internet reinforces consumer confidence. Around half of respondents (48 percent) said that seeing a product in the newspaper after seeing it online would make them trust the product more and be more likely to purchase, illustrating the value of reaching the same customer through multiple media. More than half of that group (52 percent) said they would be more likely to purchase the product.
– Of the more than half of respondents who said they either purchased or researched a product after seeing a newspaper ad in the last month, 42 percent reported they purchased a product and 44 percent said they researched at least one product (with some overlap between the groups).
– Overall, nearly 30 percent of Internet-using newspaper readers went online to research at least one product that they saw in the newspaper (on average, they researched nine).

The Google Print Ads program began in November 2006 with a test that included 50 newspapers and a small group of advertisers. Since then, the program has grown to include more than 750 newspapers representing 48 of the top 50 DMAs and covering 70 percent of U.S. paid circulation. Participating newspaper publishers include E.W. Scripps, Freedom Communications, Hearst Newspapers, GateHouse Media, Gannett, MediaNews Group, The New York Times, The Seattle Times Company, Tribune Publishing, and Washington Post among others.

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