Online consumer education programmes can be up to 29 times more effective that traditional media advertising, and up to 5 times more effective than direct marketing techniques, according to a study published by online education provider Powered Inc.
According to the study, sponsoring online educational programmes for consumers has been observed producing a greater ROI (return on investment) than comparable traditional media advertising and direct marketing campaigns.
The Consumer Education Produces High ROI study reported that consumers reached through online educational programmes purchased more and were left with a more favourable perception of the brand as a result of their experience online.
According to report author Bill Harvey, "The research found that consumers who participate in sponsored educational programmes tend to view the sponsoring brand favourably, and are very likely to buy the company's branded products after the experience."
To determine the effectiveness of online consumer education as a marketing channel, researchers at Next Century Media analysed surveys of nearly 200,000 consumers who participated in online education programmes in 2005. The report's key findings included:
- Consumers who complete courses are 29 times more likely to buy the sponsor's products compared to traditional media advertising;
- Consumers who participated in online education programmes are 5 times more likely to buy the sponsor's products compared to direct marketing;;
- 20% of consumers will purchase a product as a result of their experience;;
- 97% of students are satisfied with the experience;;
- 90% are likely to recommend the experience to a friend;;
- 94% have a more favourable perception of the brand because of the experience.
According to Dave Ellett, chairman and CEO for Powered, "Consumers have shown that they prefer to be approached by advertisers in alternative ways that let them engage on their own terms rather than being bombarded with irrelevant, invasive messages."
Online education also reaches consumers that previously had little or no awareness of a company's brand, either not having been reached by traditional advertising or having been disengaged by it. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents were unfamiliar with the sponsoring company's brand before participating in the educational experience.
The full report has been made available for download from Powered's web site - click here.