Success of the Banner Ad: 249% Contextual Improvement?

Seth Godin gives us an anecdote from Usama Fayyad of Yahoo about a study that showed that contextual text ads saw a 249% increase click-through rate increase after a corresponding banner campaign was run.

Without knowing the details of this study it’s hard to really know if that’s something advertisers could expect on an ongoing basis. Where were these ads run? Across multiple sites? Through ad networks?

Regardless, I think it’s safe to say that conventional banner advertising can increase brand awareness, and lead to all kinds of positive results.

I wanted to speak to another point, and I’m not sure whether Seth was saying this or Usama Fayyad, but the quote is:

If you run banner ads, one study for Harris Direct shows that you can increase your brand awareness about 7% after a reasonable buy of banner ads. That’s just fine, though I’m on the record as saying that most banner campaigns are a waste of money.

Banner campaigns could be a waste of money if executed poorly and without having metrics and goals attached to it, just as a CPC text campaign can have the same fate. However, the last few years display advertising has become more efficient as companies and media buyers have become more sophisticated at optimizing, driving conversions, and using yield management to make sure they are profitable. It’s the exact opposite from being a waste of money, and the quote strikes me as a statement made out of dislike of banner advertising instead of having any facts behind it.

Some other bloggers have chimed on on this:

  • http://http:/www./ Natasha Robinson

    You may want to check out the recent study from ATLAS as well:

    From: Consumers exposed to both display and search ads convert at higher rates

    “Consumers exposed to both display and search advertising converted at a 22% higher rate than those using search alone, according to a study from the Atlas Institute. Atlas also found that search-click-only users converted at a rate 3.3 times higher than the display-click-only group. Combined display and search clicks converted at a rate 4 times higher than display click only.”

    See the full PDF:
    The Combined Impact of Search and Display Advertising

  • Pat McCarthy

    Thanks Natasha, that’s some good additional data.

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