Whether you're in advertising or not, at some point, everyone has been a banner ad hater. From a loud auto-initiated video at the office to an inundating takeover by Taylor Lautner - one that mysteriously became the background of my iPad and then wished me a "Happy St. Patrick's Day" - we've all been victims of an unwanted, unwarranted, or irrelevant banner ad. Even when I tell people what I do, and mention online banner ads, their faces typically show a mild tolerance for the topic. Or they say flat-out, "I hate pop-ups."
EMarketer estimates spending on U.S. online advertising will grow by nearly a quarter in 2012. However, banners' projections are below average for the category. And they'll continue to grow at a slower pace than other forms of online advertising such as paid search, video, and mobile. While banner click-through rates continue to decline, marketers are working to find more ways to validate that banner messaging resonates with consumers, from engagement to direct response metrics. Guess what? The secret is out: blasting billions of untargeted impressions to the masses and tracking latent activity is not an effective form of advertising - at least to some of us it is.
According to comScore Ad Metrix, AT&T, which has been the leader in advertising impressions for the last several years, served nearly 106 billion impressions in the U.S. during 2011. What's more, the number of advertisers who served over 3 billion impressions in Q4 2011 increased from 24 to 46, compared to the same quarter the previous year. But let's put this in context. EMarketer reported 231.9 million online users (18+) in the U.S. last year. So, if every adult watched an AT&T ad an even number of times, then it would have been seen an average of 456 times during the year. Yikes! Apparently we have a ways to go in shifting the paradigm.
To change the perception of banner ads, many things must change - and the responsibility falls on more than just advertisers.
Last year, the Panda update by Google did a good job of placing more emphasis in the algorithm to the user experience - all with advertisements as part of the equation. Let's face it: in general, no one goes online to see a banner ad, drives to see an outdoor billboard, or watches TV to see commercials. However, as an industry, that doesn't mean that we can't offer a better experience given the capabilities of the online environment.
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As group director of marketing services for Nurun, Amy Manus is responsible for ensuring clients' interactive strategy and objectives translate into targeted, measurable, and successful digital media campaigns.
Amy leads and manages the media team at playing a key role researching and evaluating the digital media landscape, directing clients' innovation and emerging media strategies, inclusive of social media and mobile. She is instrumental in the Nurun's global advertising strategies and development, working with teams in Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Amy is a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association. A native of Cincinnati, Amy received her bachelor's degree in marketing and minor in speech and communications from Clemson University.
December 12, 2013
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