For a number of years, online marketing has seen a steady growth of companies getting on board to increase their visibility online. According to a new study, online marketing is now at the same level as TV ads in generating retail sales for the consumer packaged goods market.

According to research from comScore and dunnhumbyUSA which will be published in a paper titled How Advertising Works, online ad campaigns were able to increase retail sales of a given brand by 9 percent over a three-month span. This is similar to results from a year-long television campaign which saw an 8 percent gain in retail sales.

What potentially makes these figures significant for companies considering an online marketing or television ad campaign is the cost difference between the two, according to Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of comScore.

"It is likely that the more precise targeting ability of the internet – especially in terms of accurately reaching the desired demographic segment – is a key reason for its effectiveness," he said. "That is meaningful in and of itself, but when you take into account the fact that online advertising is generally less costly than television, these results take on even greater significance."

The study’s results may encourage even more companies to shift their marketing dollars from traditional outlets like print and television to the web – something that’s already happening at a quick pace.

In an interview last month with Forbes, Anthea Stratigos, CEO of media research company Outsell, said her company predicts that firms will shift $65 billion worth of marketing from traditional media to online by the end of this year.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.