Websites, both company websites and content sites, and online marketing, advertising and email are shown to have a major impact on the purchase process in certain categories. In the travel category, travel websites are the number one driver of awareness (cited by 41% of respondents), followed by online marketing (11%) and online search (9%). Although it is not a primary builder of awareness in other categories, at both the further learning and the crucial purchase decision stages, the interactive channel is a top three influence in almost all categories. Compared to other media, online advertising is highly effective at getting consumers to those crucial company websites.Absolutely a must-read.
You can find the release and the study's executive summary (PDF) online.