Last week, I blogged about the low level of clickthroughs on online display ads – basically a cipher at 0.09%.
In a conversation with a business colleague of mine who is with one of our healthcare client accounts, she mentioned that it’s also important to consider the branding aspects of online display advertising. The idea that people may not click through at that precise moment in time, but are favorably disposed to pay a visit later on.
This got me to looking for additional research into the matter. What I found from several advertising digital media marketing and data reporting companies – MediaMind (Eyeblaster) and comScore – confirms this impression.
An analysis by comScore of consumer clickthrough behavior covering ~140 online display ad campaigns found that only about 20% of the conversions came after clicking on a banner ad. The remaining 80% of conversions happened among those who had seen the ad but not clicked through at the time. Instead, they converted at a later date.
Other interesting points from comScore’s analysis include:
Online display ad campaigns yielded nearly 50% improvement in advertiser website visits as measured over a 30-day period.
Users who were exposed to the online advertising were ~38% more likely to conduct an advertiser-related “branded” keyword search in the subsequent 30-day period.
Users who were exposed to the online advertising were ~17% more likely to make a purchase at the advertiser’s retail store.
Similarly, MediaMind’s analysis of ~100 million conversions from thousands of online ad campaigns has found concurring results – namely, that only ~20% of conversions are the result of a clickthrough, while the vast majority of the conversions happen at some point after viewing the banner ad without clicking on it at that moment.
The takeaway from all this: It’s a mistake to consider online advertising clickthrough rates in a vacuum. Because at best, it’s only a partial measure of the effectiveness of an online ad program.