Integrating TV and Paid Search

The Background

Our client is a growing Australian brand operating within a the highly competitive finance vertical.

Since launching, sales have grown consistently. Still, our client’s brands face a major issue. Our client, as a provider of finance products, has relatively low awareness in the market. To increase awareness our client launched DRTV activity in August 2013.


Columbus collated sales data from internal tools. Combined with our client’s internal website and sales data, it was then possible to pose a series of questions which in answering, would be at the heart of the overall study.

Key Challenge

If we could determine the influence of the TV activity on SEM. Would we see a major increase in performance or would the influence be too minute to detect?

The Strategy

Through highly specialised research, Columbus combined data from industry resources & our client’s internal data.

We collected data over a three month period before the actual launch of the DRTV activity. That gave us enough data and insights to measure the influence offline activity would have on online results.

We increased the daily budget caps of all brand campaigns to make sure that we could see the full effect of the DRTV activity. Otherwise there would be a risk of not seeing the full potential of the campaign due to budget limitations.


We noticed an interesting phenomenon. Weeks that have less spend in DRTV activity do generally not have less (Brand-) sales. We assume that DRTV generates an “afterburn” effect of a week or two.  The performance after launching DRTV activity was relatively stable; even throughout times with less TV spend.

The Results

From the data collected we were able to ascertain that brand sales increased by 17%  after  the campaign started. Cost per sale (CPS) decreased by 4%. The activity had a major effect on CPC’s, with prices decreasing by 15%, allowing a 31% increase in clicks for an additional investment of 12%.

The generic traffic was relatively stable as we decreased the budget slightly throughout the period. However the CTR rose by 11.5% over a three months period. It appears the Woolworths DRTV activity contributed to increased brand awareness with users, influencing them to have a higher response rate to Woolworths ads.


We recommend running DRTV in conjunction with an active SEM campaign in place. Without SEM activity in place, potential opportunities may be missed in engaging users early in the decision making process. Running DRTV & SEM activities together is necessary in order to fully capitalise on opportunities. Furthermore SEM gives the ability to track and understand the influence of any DRTV on overall Brand awareness.

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