Background and Context: Online advertising, including that within social media is forecast to experience enormous growth over the next few years, encroaching on social marketing budgets typically allocated for traditional media. To date few studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of online compared to traditional mass media.
After 10 years of effective anti-tobacco mass-media activity focussed primarily on TV and other traditional media, the Make Smoking History campaign commenced trialling online media. Now-published results of the first phase of action research trialling non-TV media, showed that online media has proven more cost-effective in prompting smokers to seek further information than traditional non-TV media.
Aim: To assess the relative cost-effectiveness of online media compared to traditional media, in producing a response to smoking cessation advertisements.
Strategy/Tactics: All campaign advertisements feature the same call to actions: 1) visit the campaign website for further information and/or 2) call the Quitline counselling service.
Programme/Policy Process: Website and call monitoring commences the week prior to any media activity commencing and continues throughout each wave of campaign activity.
Outcomes/What was learned: Ongoing measurement of online and traditional media relative cost-effectiveness will provide information to assist those seeking to optimise media allocation with limited social marketing advertising budgets.Current research provides evidence to warrant continued investment in online advertising when marketing smoking cessation messages. Continued trials in 2014 will include television to provide further insight into the relative cost-effectiveness of online media.