Summary of Major Findings
- Web has a huge potential for building customer relationships, measurability
- Advertisers like the medium because they can tell how well their ad
is doing on a weekly basis: immediate statistical research.
- Buyers of advertising space want the method of payment to change -
to be based on click-through rates.
- "Running your logo doesn't do squat. For example, with our 'You
Can Bank At Home' ads, the response rates are higher than our name and
logo ads. People are more likely to click to find out about a product than
to find out about our company." (commercial bank).
- "Burnout rate for an ad is faster on the Internet. People go back
to the same page on the Web more than they do to the same page in a magazine."
- "An Internet ad is most effective when it is integrated into an
environment." (Apparel company)
Online - "How to Build a Better Banner AD"
- 4 Most powerful letters in direct response = FREE.
- Simplicity sells; graphics should enhance the message, not distract
- Animation may draw attention to the ad at the expense of the site.
- Good banners must contain an attention-getting element, a call to action
and a reason to click through. Need content that ignites clicks. Tell them
to give you a click.
- Like email, banners should carry your company's signature.
Banner advertising rules
Marketing Week, "Net advertising 'blip' masks...", 12/31/96
- Total advertising spending on the Web reached $66 million for the third
quarter of 1996, up over 40% from the previous period. Predict $300 million
for all of 1996, $1 billion next year and $5 billion by 2000. Most of the
ads are dominated by hi-tech brands and the promotions of the Web software
companies and search engines.
- Display ad revenue is currently growing strongly, but future ad revenue
will come from other forms of communication and transactions with customers.
Advertising spending levels
Washington Post, "Speculating in Cyberspace", 1/23/97
- $300 million spent on Internet advertising in 1996, but more than two-thirds
came from Internet marketers and telecommunications companies.
- Claims that Microsoft may be one of the only companies making money
on the Web. Time-Warner is losing millions on its Pathfinder Web site.
Types of advertisers
Business Marketing, "Study Shows Big Lifts From Animated
- Study by ZD Net found that animated ads generated click-through rates
at least 15% higher than static ads, and in some cases as much as 40% higher.
- Claim that more people notice and pay attention to the ad if it has
animation, even if they don't click on it. They are more likely to click
for more information if the animation is done in an effective way (emphasize
what product is about).
- Even with the animation, an ad must have a strong, well-crafted message
and a clear call to action. The animation does not take the place of response-driven
copy and a creative idea.
- There's two degrees of bad when it comes to animation: 1) animation
that takes a long time to download, and 2) poor copy.
Advertising effectiveness: animation, message
Interactive Marketing News, "Delta Airlines Uses Internet
Contests to...", 11/15/96
Hosting online contests promotes web users to visit a site repeatedly.
Can use partners to link to site.
New York Times, "Trade Groups Propose Web Banner Guidelines",
The Coalition for Advertising Supported Information & Entertainment
and the Internet Advertising Bureau (two trade organizations representing
buyers, sellers and producers of Internet advertising) issued the first
voluntary guidelines for creating banner ads.
- Study found that after the fourth impression, response rates dropped
from 2.7% to under 1% (banner burnout).
- Focus on four important issues which are critical to successful advertising
(creativity, targeting, frequency and content).
- Simple animation can increase response rates 25%.
- Cryptic messages may increase click-through by 18%, but they may not
attract the right audience or reinforce branding.
- Using questions can raise click-through by 16%.
- Phrases such as "Click Here" tend to improve response 15%.
- Offering free goods or services generally improves click-through.
- Bright Colors more effective.
- Sense of urgency messages decrease response.
- Banners at the top of the page are twice as effective.
Advertising effectiveness: creativity, targeting, frequency and content
Sun-Sentinel, "Sportsline USA Executive ..." 2/3/97
7 Rules to Successful Banner Advertising
Successful banner ads lie somewhere between direct marketing and traditional
print work. "Good design and good marketing are totally different,"
said Kenneth Dotson, Vice President of Marketing with SportsLine
USA. Successful banner ads lie in-between. SportsLine USA has been
doubling the average industry click through, hitting upward of 5%.
- Dotson's 7 rules to successful banner advertising:
- Use color.
- Use animation that doesn't slow downloading of the ad can attract attention.
- Use keywords.
- Keep it simple.
- Keep it relevant.
- Include a call to action.
- Test. Dotson and his staff continually test and chart the performance
of their banners, even - or especially - during the first day of placement.
Banner advertising rules
WebWeek, October 23, 1996
5 Tips for Effective Banner Advertising
- Put your banner at the top of the page. Banners down the sides don't
do as well in terms of generating click through.
- If possible, bracket important content between two banners.
- Make banners big. The more pixels, the more likely surfers are to click
- Put banners on the home page, if possible. Banners on the home pages
generate more click through than banners on the pages deeper within a site.
- Keep the advertising message close to the content of the page. Ads
that relate closely to the content get more hits.
Banner advertising rules
Seattle Times, 10/6/96
Paying for Advertising
Procter & Gamble's experience indicates that advertisers will be
able to strike different types of deals depending on whether they pay for
impressions, click-throughs or, someday, actual sales.
Interactive PR, "The 'Sweet Spot' in Banner Advertising"
A study conducted by KRC Research & Consulting found that the highest
click rate is achieved with the first banner impression. In terms of maximum
impression of the Net users, the "sweet spot" is located at the
third banner impression; after that, it's "banner burnout."
Online - "Click Racing"
- "Banner immunity" is creeping into the mix - Customers under
30 and college educated are saying "no" to banner advertising
- If banner ads are not integrated into the site, they stick out like
Age - "Banners that move make big impression"
- Billboard banner ads are not enough - direct marketing and interactivity
must play a role. The more interactivity created by the banners, the higher
the click-through rates and the deeper the involvement consumers will have
with the brand.
- Most browsers need Shockwave and other technologies before they will
read any of the more sophisticated banners on the Web. For that reason,
some executives bet that forms embedded "within banners" will
be the winners in 1997.
- The idea is to put the power of the site in the hands of the users.
- Forms make the banner more useful to the consumer. Show the users the
utility of the site directly from the banner. (form-embedded banners)
- There is some disagreement regarding the function of banner advertising.
Some say the banner's primary function is to build brand awareness, and
the web is a specialty one-to-one marketing tool. Others are more concerned
with volume and click through.
Function of banner advertising
Advertising Effectiveness Study
- The impact of a single web banner exposure on the Consumer Loyalty
ranged from a 5% increase to over 50%, whether or not the viewer actually
clicked on the banner.
- The high-involvement nature of the Web and the prominent placement
aspects of the advertising seem to play a larger role in defining the effectiveness
than did the particular creative tested in the study.
- As frequency of exposure increases, there are both incremental benefits
and diminishing marginal returns.
- The primary drivers for click-through seem to be the nature of the
audience. The inherent interest of the product category, or brand, to the
audience appears to be the most salient factor driving click-through. The
appeal of the creative may also play a role, but the role seems to be secondary
- Click-through rate did not predict the brand building impact of the
ad banner exposure.
- A single additional ad banner can have a measurable impact even after
several previous ads have been viewed.
- Click-through rate -- which appears to be partly dependent on a personal
propensity to click on ad banners and partly on perceived immediate personal
relevance of the product category -- was not necessarily found to be predictive
of the overall brand-building impact of the ad banner.
- Web advertising actually outperforms television
advertising in its ability to build brand awareness that favorably influences
|Advertising effectiveness: click-through drivers, impact and customer
Age, "Smart Ads Leave the Concept of Linking Behind"
||First virtual has launched a product that embeds forms within banners
allowing the user to perform a transaction without leaving the site they
are at. The catch is that they need an account with first virtual.
|Kansas City Business Journal, "H&R Block
gets hip in Cyberspace" (3/14/97)
||"Banner advertising has fallen out of favor with some Web marketers
who say it is expensive and ineffective. A new trend, they say, uses the
interactive nature of their Web sites to create ongoing relationships with
potential customers on the Internet." This has led to "Relationship
Marketing" becoming a new buzzword in Internet promotion.
|Business Wire, "Lycos Pioneers First Phase
of Web Advertising Standards" (3/10/97)
||Lycos announced that it "will lead the first phase in the drive
to standardize the size of banner advertisements on the Web". Lycos
will adopt the standard and hopes to be a role model for other sites on
||Size of Banner Ads
PR Newswire, "Mediaconsult.com Surpasses Industry Average;
Announcing Their Highest Advertising Results on Yahoo!" (2/28/97)
- The average click through rate from banner advertising on the Internet
- "We believe Mediaconsult.com's success in surpassing ad industry
standards will grow as we continue to insist on carefully selected words,
provide targeted banner ad design and frequently rotate the ads, said Ian
Sutcliffe, President of Mediaconsult.com.
Improving Click- Through