Sunday, March 24, 2013

60% of Consumers Ignore Banners - Study

Poor Engagement Results for Banner Ads Indicate Need for Better Targeting.

Thanks to an article by Kristina Knight with BizReport, and a Linkedin post by Larry Bassani promoting Kristina's article, a recent study by InfoLinks on Banner Ad results has come to my attention. Keeping in mind this is just one study by one advertising agency, which has a vested interest in pointing these things out. Even so, the performance numbers cited are worrisome for banner advertisers and platforms.

Key findings from the InfoLinks study read like a banner ad disaster movie:
  • 14% recalled the last display ad they saw online and the company or product advertised. This means 86% could not recall the last display ad they saw.
  • Less than 3% said the ad they saw was relevant to them. This means 97% did not see relevancy in the banners ads they saw.
  • 35% of those surveyed click on 5 or fewer display ads per month. 
  • 50% never click display ads. This means 50% do click.
  • From the 40% who did view the banner ads, 75% were on a computer and 25% used mobile devices.
Referencing the Infolinks banner ad study, if less than 3% said the ad they saw was relevant to them, there is a dire need for better targeting. Search Engine Marketing does a fantastic job of targeting compared to banner ads by comparison. What Banner Ads need for targeting are less shotgun approaches and better sniper capabilities.

And yet 40% of consumers did remember seeing the banner ads, and some of the other 60% might have subconsciously acknowledged the banner ad. From direct experience, I know that banners can attract new business (mostly indirectly), improve competitive 'mind share', and help build brand presence and awareness.

Banner Ads, along with print advertising, have a place in B-to-B marketing. They need to be put into perspective.... useful for branding, building 'mind-share', and creating favorable conditions for future business conversions. But for targeting and efficiency, as compared to search engine marketing, they are not even close.

But that is not the point. Banner Ads and Print Ads complement Search Engine Marketing. To learn more about the role of print and banner ads for successful B-to-B marketing, please read: In Praise of Print Ads, within limits.