The number of people who click banner (‘display’) ads has dropped 50% in less than two years, and only 8% of internet users account for 85% of all clicks, according to the most recent “Natural Born Clickers” study from ComScore and media agency Starcom.
The study indicates that only 16% of U.S. internet users ever click on banner ads down from 32% who clicked on display advertising in July 2007.
Reading these study metrics alone might initially suggest that banner or display advertising might be a poor use of your marketing funds; especially in challenging times. However the study actually encourages banner / display advertising despite the declining click metrics; but it does suggest sto top measuring banner effectiveness on click-thru metrics alone.
If we put it in perspective; clicks are a direct-response measurement. For display campaigns, we need to look at brand-awareness studies, purchase-intent lifts and engagement rates. Comscore client surveys quoted in the study have shown display ads produce measurable lift in brand site visitation, trademark search, and both on- and offline sales, regardless of whether users clicked on the display ads themselves.
If you believe in “buy cycle marketing” (see my other posts on the topic); you understand (and accept) that users might work with an ad, but not click on it. That doesn’t mean the banner didn’t impact results elsewhere in your marketing mix.
Here’s the Clickz article on the study: