SOURCE: eMarketer

October 06, 2006 09:00 ET

Consumers to Buy Nearly 15% of Personal Care Items Online by 2010

New eMarketer Report Analyzes Fast-Growing Health-and-Beauty Sector

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 6, 2006 -- Health and beauty marketers are not the biggest spenders on Web advertising. But the personal care sector is among the fastest-growing online. eMarketer estimates that the CPG industry will spend $470 million on online advertising this year, up from $390 million in 2005. By 2010, 13.8% of all health and beauty sales will be made online, up from 5.6% in 2005, according to Forrester Research.

There's a vast, untapped audience at stake. They include aging boomers struggling to hold onto their youth and Gen Y folks starting families and careers. More than 85% of these groups are online and waiting to be reached. But they are also sophisticated Internet users, not likely to respond to old-style online marketing, according to eMarketer's latest report, Health and Beauty Marketing: Meet Your Online Customers. Marketers are experimenting with new ways -- microsites to promote viral campaigns, podcasts, Web games and online video broadcasts -- to reach their target audiences and break through the clutter.

Search is a crucial marketing technique to reach personal care customers. Consumers have become skilled at searching online for what they want, whether it is product information or brick-and-mortar retail outlets to purchase goods and services. A Hitwise study showed that 75 of the top 100 search terms across all categories in February 2006 contained brand names, and an average of 85% of the brand name searches resulted in a visit to one of the brand owner's sites. Sponsored links and banner ads were found to be far less influential. "Companies should be defending their brands online and bringing traffic to their microsites by buying their brands as keywords at the very least," says Lisa Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report.

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