Monday, September 15, 2008

Case Study: Office Depot Maximizes Multi-Channels

I'm always looking for quantifiable results that prove that a message received through multiple channels beats those received from a single channel. The concept of multi-channel marketing just makes so much sense, but it's oftentimes hard to measure. One has to wonder--would that customer have purchased or responded if they had only heard from us through a single channel? Were the extra costs of a multi-touch strategy justified?

Today's case study comes to us, from of all places, Microsoft. They've cleverly measured the impact of various components of Office Depot's online advertising campaign, quantifying stand-alone results and the impact of multiple customer touches.

Office Depot, Inc. is a global supplier of office products and services that sells to 44 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. With a number of sales being processed online, Office Depot wanted to optimize the effectiveness of their online advertising campaigns.

The Challenge
Office Depot teamed up with Microsoft Advertising to conduct a study focused on understanding the brand lift an Office Depot search or display campaign receives when running together with other online channels. They wanted to determine which combinations of search, display, and content ads best drove Office Depot’s brand metrics.

The Creative Solution
The study was conducted among 120 participants who were evaluated with eye-tracking tests and post-session surveys. The participants were exposed to various combinations of Microsoft display, search, and content advertising methods and evaluated for brand metrics like message recall and purchase intent.

The Results
The study revealed that while search, display, and content ads are effective online channels for driving brand metrics, when combined they generate more powerful results. The following chart is the best illustration, I believe of the power of multi-channel marketing.

Office Depot Search Campaign Study
Adding both display and content ad offerings to the search campaign is more effective than adding only one additional channel offering. Results achieved include:
  • 46.5% incremental lift in ad recall
  • 49.1% incremental lift in brand recall
  • 19.7% incremental lift in message recall
  • 21.6% incremental lift in purchase intent
Office Depot Display Campaign Study
Adding both search and content ad offerings to the display campaign is more effective than adding only one additional channel offering.

Multiple exposures through search, display, and content ad channels translate into 2.41 times the amount of user interest (measured in relative fixations and gaze time) over search alone. Results include:
  • 20.8% lift in ad recall
  • 45.0% in brand recall
  • 15.8% in message recall
  • 13.7% in purchase intent

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