Holy Grail Found!

My team forwarded me an article from yesterday’s Merc’ on the trend of large cap tech companies loading up on economics talent from academia.  It’s an interesting trend, if not exactly a new one.  Hal Varian’s high-profile hire by Google occurred in May 2002.  Yahoo! began building a team of economists around the same time.

The thing that really caught our eyes though, was this sentence:

For instance, Yahoo’s economists have been searching for a holy grail of advertising — tangible evidence that online ads actually make people buy stuff in a real-world store.

Not only does this evidence exist, but it is abundant.  Exhibit A is our fantastic SalesLink results.  For every $1 spent on Brand.net media in these campaigns, our clients drove >$4 in incremental sales (primarily in “real-world” offline stores).

Our most recent result – a campaign for a major national dog food brand – was even more impressive, driving >$1.5M in incremental offline sales on a $200K media investment.  That’s an additional 2.2 million pounds of dog food sold due to this campaign.  In case you’re wondering, 2.2 million pounds of dog food is enough to fill about 100 standard 20’ intermodal shipping containers.  If these containers were loaded on semi-trailers bound for a real-world destination, it would create a bumper-to-bumper caravan that would stretch more than half a mile.

I am no economist, but this would seem to qualify as “tangible evidence”.

Ironically, the very same Nielsen measurement capability that proves this offline impact was originally created in partnership with Yahoo! and launched jointly…in 2003.

If the Merc’s reporting is correct, Yahoo! may want to add a few archaeologists to the mix.

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