Dec 2, 2010

Display banner click rates - falling, but relevant?

A recent article in eMarketer cites a Mediamind study on banner response rates shows a decreasing average annual banner click through rate over the past three years: from .12 percent in 2007 to .09 percent in 2010.

For those not used to reading small banner CTR numbers, what does this figure mean: if you put a banner campaign out in the consumer world, then for each million impressions - per million - then 900 people would click through to your website. Note that if you are running and acquisition campaign and have a great website rate of 10% signups, then your million exposures get you 90 acquired leads.

Thus banners for consumer RM acquisition are, on the surface, not as effective a source as they used to be. True? Is it still a wise choice? That depends on the cost you pay, measured as cost per "lead". You might think of a lead as a website visitor, but really you should get as close to "purchase" as possible.

The study claims that viewers of banners are more likely to purchase than the average person.
However, keep in mind that since banners target by demographics, geographics, and past website viewing behavior, this targeting effect is expected. Also, people rarely view banners in isolation, but as part of a combined media campaign.

To download this report and see the details, click here

The more I experience banner campaigns in pharma CRM, the more I feel that banners are best thought of as brand awareness advertising to reach people near the top of the funnel. Like magazines and billboards, but usually cheaper. Success for banner campaigns is about placement to target audience, and cost efficiencies.

Cost per acquisition buys do exist. However, in healthcare and pharma, the question remains as to whether they can acquire enough.