If a Web banner or display ad doesn’t get clicked on, is it wasted marketing effort?
Not necessarily, says a new study from interactive agency iProspect, which found that people who respond to a display ad they see on a site are almost as likely to do so by conducting a search as they are to click on the ad itself.
Research conducted by Forrester Consulting for the agency determined that of the Web surfers who take some action when they encounter a display ad (about half), almost one-third initially click on the ad itself. But 27% go to a search engine to find out more about the product, brand or company behind the ad. And 21% are motivated to type the company Web address into their browser without going through the display ad.
“First, these results show that online display ads are not dead,” says Rob Murray, iProspect CEO. “In fact, we found that 38% of those polled said they learned of a product or service for the first time from a display ad. To me, that says display has a positive brand awareness effect.”
Why are display ads almost as likely to trigger a search as a click? “Our belief is that people are looking for validation of your brand in the search engine,” Murray says. If a brand users see in a display ad figures prominently in search results, they assume it’s a leader in its space.
Murray’s recommendation: If you’re running a display campaign for your brand, make sure you’re optimizing to rank high in organic search too. Marketers should also find a way to attribute conversions to each of the channels to get a clear view of how they’re contributing to end results.