Are clicks a good way to measure online ads?

According to a recent study as much as 98% of online ad clicks are done by BOTS leaving some to question their effectiveness. However, does an online audience really need to “click” on an ad for it to be effective? The answer is no.

Someone is surfing the Web and sees an ad for a new pizza at Pizza Hut and later that night decides to order a pizza for her family. Would you say that the Pizza Hut’s online ad was effective even though the click rate is low? That is a matter of deep debate between those who feel that online marketing is a “sham”. Yet, these are the same people who count impressions in TV ads, even though more and more people are multitasking while watching TV and not really paying attention to TV commercials.

While click rates remain pitifully low smart marketers are developing online ads that don’t need users to click to communicate key product and brand benefits. Exposure to some online ads can drive effective brand objectives if brands put as much effort into developing them as much as TV commercials. In addition Internet users today are savvy enough to type in a brand’s URL to get information rather than click through on ads.

Of course, there are some products which do require a user to click through to be effective, such as cars and electronics, but others don’t require a click through. I just analyzed some research findings that showed a clear correlation between online ads and orders on Amazon.com. We made consumers aware of the product and they went to Amazon.com to order.

Online advertising is still evolving and consumers are fighting back with the increased use of ad blockers, but at the same time people would rather see ads than pay for website content. The online ad industry has to do a better job, beyond just numbers, on the potential of online ads if they are done right.


Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on June 6, 2016.

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