Tuesday, March 10

Here's One Way To Make The Logo Bigger!

Nothing annoys me more than when our industry refuses to innovate. Take online banners. 10 years ago the CTR was 0.45% (4.5 out of every 1,000 people clicked your banner). 8 years ago it dropped to 0.3%, then 0.2%. Finally stabilizing for the last 5 years at 0.15%.

A recent presentation by Doubleclick at iMedia now claims the average banner CTR is 0.1%. That's 1 person out of 1,000 clicking on your banners.

So what should the smart marketer do? Focus on behavioral and contextual targeting to make sure that 1 person is a better qualified site visitor? Stop depending on banner campaigns to drive site traffic? Stop depending on site traffic as a justification your online marketing dollars are working?

Of course not. Hey, I've got an idea!

Let's make the banners bigger!

(I assume you read that sentence more times than the previous smaller ones.)

According to Adweek today, this is the solution to decreasing effectiveness and online media spends:

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ESPN and over a dozen more of the Web's most-trafficked sites that belong to the Online Publishers Association have agreed to run three new ad units that they hope will lure brand advertising dollars. The new units are:
  • The fixed panel, a 336-by-860-pixel banner that is wider than the standard skyscraper and follows users as they scroll down the page
  • The XXL box, a 468-by-648-pixel unit that can expand with video
  • The pushdown, a 970-by-418-pixel placement that takes up over half of the page before rolling up

As I expected, consumers avoid clicking on banners because they can't find them. If the home page interstitial [skip], exit pop-up [block], and page takeover ads [wait... wait...] aren't performing, then obviously we just aren't paying attention.

At some point the direct correlation between decreased effectiveness and increased ad sizes will reach a breaking point. Then we'll need to figure out how to cram the actual site content into the advertising.

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