With the flurry of new phone models launching, the mobile phone market is heating up again this Holiday shopping season.

This means more choices for people interested in purchasing a smartphone -- and a challenge for retailers, wireless carriers and hardware manufacturers alike. To succeed, companies need to understand how shoppers are most likely to research and make their purchases this year, online and in stores, and the connection between the two channels.

As a digital marketing leader with over 2,200 store locations in the US, Verizon Wireless recognizes the importance of understanding this connection well. Additionally, as Google searches on non-brand terms like “smartphone”, “new phone” and “mobile phone” have increased 10% year over year, the company has noted the growing opportunity to reach customers researching general terms online before purchasing in store.

In an effort to drill down into the offline -- or in-store -- impact of online advertising on non-brand wireless searches like the ones mentioned above, Verizon worked with Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) and Google to measure the in-store impact of search advertising on non-brand terms over the course of four weeks. The results were impressive:
  • Five new phone activations in Verizon owned-and-operated stores for every phone activation online
  • 366% return on non-brand search advertising spend
Understanding the incremental value of digital advertising in delivering store sales will help marketers to fully harness the expanding drive-to-store opportunities across desktop, mobile and tablet. As you prepare for the 2011 holiday season, are you capitalizing on search opportunities to get shoppers into your stores?

Posted by Matthieu Mcauliffe, The Google Channel Ads Team