Home  › Media › Media Buying

Stuck With Sticky

  |  December 28, 2001   |  Comments

Sticky sites: Good for advertisers, or do they mire down other brands?

Web sites that sell advertising desire a quality we call "stickiness." That's the quality that makes users stick around and spend more time on a site, generating more impressions, rather than speeding off into Cyberspace.

Seana Mulcahy wrote a nice piece on this recently here on ClickZ, asking readers whether stickiness is desirable for someone buying ads. Naturally, someone selling ads would enjoy a high degree of stickiness, as it would provide more impressions to sell. But buyers? I have to come down on the negative side.

Seana listed four site strategies to increase stickiness:

  • Provide content a user really wants.

  • Allow the user to personalize the site.

  • Build online communities where users can post information or create groups.

  • Invite user feedback in response to content.

All of these tools involve the user in the site's brand, not the advertiser's. Instead of jumping off to your own www.brandx.com site (the epitome of anti-sticky activity), the user instead sticks around the content site. Your advertiser may be recognized in a branding context, but direct response figures will be disappointing.

Sticky sites tend to have a much higher impressions-to-unique-user ratio. This causes a much higher degree of frequency, another factor responsible for low direct response rates.

Some brands are seeking the brand recognition of the impression rather than direct response activity. For those advertisers, stickiness can be a good thing for indirect reasons. A sticky site generally holds great interest for its users. These sites, cultivating loyal visitors, may possess higher brand standing themselves. It could, theoretically, rub off on advertisers, even if visitors aren't directly responding to ads.

I find this a bit of a stretch. It would work in only rare circumstances, when content is so highly branded itself that a trickle-down effect could reach the advertising brands.

Were I selling media, I would downplay stickiness figures, except when an advertiser is running a branding campaign. In that case, sticky works. It juxtaposes branding elements of the site's content, and of the site's own brand identity, onto the advertiser.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tig Tillinghast

Tig Tillinghast helped start and run some of the industry's largest interactive divisions. He started out at Leo Burnett, joined J. Walter Thompson to run its interactive division out of San Francisco, and wound up building Anderson & Lembke's interactive group as well.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...