It’s no secret that we live in a world where every consumer is connected to multiple devices daily. In fact, the average household now has over seven active devices in use each day¹. With an increase in consumers’ multi-device activity, agencies must vigorously deploy communications strategies with multi-channel marketing in the foreground.

As the number of active devices in use continues to follow a rapid growth trajectory, exposing your brand to multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey is not just preferable, it’s essential. To remain competitive, brands and marketers must remain engaged with and in front of the consumer, or lose them to more innovative and dynamic competitors. Currently 81% of all shoppers research online before buying², and so the brands that prevail will be those brands who deliver the most progressive embrace of multi-channel communications.

In 2016, 28% of product searches began on search engines³, making search engine marketing (SEM) the number one repository of media dollars for most consumer brands. However, with consumers increasingly active across multiple devices, brands can no longer focus solely on search. As part of an integrated effort to leverage the power of multi-channel marketing, as well as maximize SEM, display advertising can play a crucial and even transformational role.

With relatively low CPMs, display advertising has long been associated with exceptional performance in driving both brand awareness and consideration for consumers during their decision-making process. Display advertising does not stop there, as it has also shown meaningful lift in search engine queries; delivering a dramatic increase in the efficiency of SEM. ComScore has reported an average lift of 49% in site visitation and 40% in brand search queries in the U.S. An even bigger impact can be shown in Europe with a 72% lift in site visitation and 98% in branded search queries⁴.

With such a dramatic impact on search engine queries, the various synergies between search engine marketing and display advertising demands significant attention by marketers. Display advertising provides vast reach across multiple devices and touchpoints, ensuring that your brand remains in front of the consumer throughout the entirety of the buying cycle. While SEM drives intent-based search, qualified queries complete the consumer buying cycle on your website.

Search + Display – Finding Synergy Together in a Multi Touch World

In a case study compiled by Search Engine Watch in 2015, search conversions peaked when display was launched, and fell off after display ended. Conversion rates increased by 52% while display and search were running simultaneously⁵. Not only did conversion metrics increase but campaign reach (impressions) increased by 45% as well. Data is shown below:


Weekly Average Before Display During Display After Display
Impressions 12,129 17,577 11,895
Clicks 349 470 462
CTR 2.88% 2.67% 3.88%
Conversions 12 25 11
Conversion Rate 3.53% 5.37% 2.38%


In a 2016 Fluent survey, 47% of shoppers who engaged across 10 or more channels made purchases from their favorite retailer’s website at least once a week. A 123% increase compared to those who engage across one to four channels only. We all recognize that we now inhabit a world in which every consumer is connected to multiple devices daily and via an ever-growing matrix of different channels. When evaluating potential synergies between search and programmatic display, and in the context of this bold new communications ecosystem, there can be no doubt that a multi-channel ethos is one important way to dramatically transform how a marketer engages with their ever more elusive audience segments.



Additional References