Brand Search Benefits of Online Advertising: An Eye-Tracking Experiment
30 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2014
Date Written: March 9, 2014
Can online display advertising help consumers to more successfully search for their preferred brands, and thus reduce the impact of competitive clutter on shopping sites? Moreover, if advertising indeed has such direct brand search benefits, which attentional mechanisms account for it? To answer these questions, this research investigates the short-term effect of exposure to online advertising on brand search performance in a controlled experiment. To provide detailed insights into the attentional mechanism of the effect of online advertising exposure, the authors develop a Hidden Markov model that is calibrated on eye-movement data collected during online brand search. The model contains three search states, namely a localization state and two states that capture identification of the brand and SKU, respectively, and allows online advertising exposure to influence how people switch from one state to the others. An experiment on online search for shower gels reveals the short-term effects of the background color, and of including an image of the product in the advertisement. The brand search process, as captured through eye tracking, is shown to mediate the effects of the advertising exposure on search performance.
Keywords: Online Brand search, short-term advertising effects, eye tracking, Markov Switching model
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