December 14, 2011

Wrong Again

As regular readers know, I very rarely make statements about the future. The reason is simple. I'd rather make fun of stupid predictions than generate them. Here's a perfect example.

Over four years ago I wrote a post called "The Backlash Is Going To Come." I was about as wrong as I could be. In it I wrote...
It's not going to take advertisers long to figure out that on-line display advertising has been a failure as an interactive medium. It can't sustain its growth for long with a response rate under two-in-a-thousand unless it's willing to take big cuts in cpm.. they will face a backlash. It may not be this week or this month, but it's coming.
Well, since I wrote that, display advertising has boomed.
  • According to Kantar Media, display advertising grew 14.6% in the first quarter of 2011
  • eMarketer predicts display advertising will grow 24.5% for the entire year
The amazing thing about all this is that in the intervening four years, the overall click-through rate for display advertising has dropped by half from about 2 in a thousand to less than 1 in a thousand.

I can understand why people rushed into display advertising when it was supposed to be "interactive." But now that we know that "interactivity" is mostly an illusion, it's hard to find a logical explanation for the enthusiasm.

But that doesn't make me any less wrong.

I predict that in the future I will make even fewer predictions.

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