"What was once digital advertising’s dirty little secret is now its big, ugly problem. Online ad performance figures are dismal..." Adweek, 8/24/11Just when you thought banner ads couldn't get any less effective, oops, click-through rates dropped another 10% last year.
Mashable reports that a Google study, seen as the "the industry standard" reported recently that click-through rates dropped from .1% to .09% in 2010. That means that CTRs dropped from 1 in a thousand to 9 in ten thousand.
So, Mr. Online Advertiser, for every 10,000 times your online ad appeared, you got a solid 9 clicks. Good job.
If you were a shortstop, you'd be batting .0009
Oh, and by the way, the 9 people who clicked are no more likely to buy your product than the 9,991 people who didn't.
“A click means nothing, earns no revenue and creates no brand equity." says Starcom USA SVP/Director, Research & Analytics John Lowell.Which, I'm afraid, is not a terribly encouraging statement about the value of "interactivity."
Meanwhile, undeterred, the advertising industry continues selling clients more and more display ads. In June, eMarketer doubled its projection for online ad spending in 2011.
You may be asking yourself how display ads -- with such "dismal" performance -- can continue to provide large income to online publishers? This, my friend, may go down as one of the great
"...banners work like most advertising, which is to say in a fairly complex manner.
For instance, click-through is actually a poor measure of performance. It’s impossible to click through a billboard ad, for example, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective...
The same is true for TV ads..."Oh, I see. The now famous "nobody ever clicked on a TV spot" defense.
So here's what has really happened. Online ad
Now the story goes like this: Banner ads really aren't any more measurable or interactive than traditional advertising. In fact, the erstwhile key metric -- the click -- don't mean shit. Now, we are told, banner ads work just like traditional advertising, in a "fairly complex" manner.
The only trouble with this
It seems that the worse online advertising performs the more of it we can sell. C'mon gang, if we can just get the click-through rate down to zero, we'll all be rich!