The click may be nearing the end of its useful life as a term for measuring an ad’s effectiveness. The issue with the click is that it is an action that is wildly unpopular with consumers. This leads to ads that appear to be under-performing; but are they, or are we just using an outdated way of measuring the success of an ad?
Let’s take the banner ad as an example. Currently a banner’s success is based mainly off the click through rate of that banner. This is an issue because according to Adobe, 33% of consumers find display ads intolerable. So right off the bat a third of the people who see your ad will not click on it. Once you add banner blindness, ad blockers, and accidental clicks or taps you can start to see how it can be hard to justify the ROI of a banner ad when looking at CTR as your main performance benchmark. How often do you click on a banner ad on Facebook? Most people don’t. People click on one out of every 2,000 Facebook banner ads they see. The average CTR for a banner in general is 0.06% and of those clicks, 60% are accidental.
None of this is to say that digital display ads are a poor choice of advertising medium. Rather that when you’re more likely to survive a plane crash or win the lottery than get a click on your banner ad, it’s time to reevaluate their purpose in life and ditch the click as performance metric.
If we change our goal for banner ads to be based on brand awareness and treat them like online product placements, the result could be much greater than if we stick with using them to drive web traffic. We must remember that clicks aren’t what sell products, brand salience is. How do you build brand salience? By having solid creative that maintains relevancy and stays on the consumers mind. The subliminal influence of your brand logo or tagline can not be underestimated. It builds familiarity and recognition; the click doesn’t do these things. With the changed focus to be on solid creative that purely builds brand salience rather than CTR, the banner ad could regain its value in the digital space. Will someone follow your call to action and click on your banner? Doubtful. People don’t trust banners, they’re afraid of viruses, and as previously stated, the average CTR on a banner is a fraction of a fraction of a percent. However, if you create a solid banner that just pushes your brand and doesn’t ask anything of the consumer, they may remember your creative when they’re in their next purchasing decision and decide to go with your brand over the competitor who is still trying to eke out interactivity from their display ads. This is the same psychology that is behind outdoor ads, except adapted for the wild web.
This switch to a less interactive digital ad may seem counter-intuitive, and ditching CTR as a measurement may pose new challenges to measuring ROI, but it may be time for digital advertising to evolve in order to adapt to current consumer trends.
Integrated Advertising is a full-service agency based in Jacksonville, FL., known for its expertise in strategic planning and negotiating, its award-winning commercial production, and promotional and event management. At Integrated Advertising, we help each client strategize the right plan to place the right ads, in the right spot, at the right time, so you can have a profitable company. Visit http://www.intadvertising.com/ or call (904) 296-2585 for more information