When it comes to advertising and marketing your business, it’s natural to want to measure your advertising effectiveness. I know that every dollar that you spend advertising and marketing your business is a dollar that doesn’t go into your profits column. With that in mind, business owners are always VERY interested in measuring their advertising effectiveness because advertising- viewed PROPERLY and done correctly– is an INVESTMENT in future business.
When businesses and ad agencies began using internet advertising and marketing, they thought that Web 2.0 would be nirvana. FINALLY the old saying “I know half of my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half” could be retired. Web 2.0 would allow us to carefully measure the effectiveness of our advertising. What off line advertising couldn’t provide, online advertising could! Clear, measurable RESULTS!
Fast forward to 2008. Andy Beal writes 10 Alternative Revenues to Banner Advertising or; How Not to Starve as a Blogger:
If you run banner ads on your own blog, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen either a drop in demand or a drop in the rates you’re charging. And, with the economy sucking the wind out of any advertising growth, you’ll likely not see much of an improvement over the coming months–perhaps years.
He cites a Jakob Neilsen quote from the post, “What if you ran an ad and nobody saw it”
“We call this banner blindness — people won’t see ads at all,” said Nielsen. “Ads might as well not exist as far as users are concerned, except for search ads.” The number of web users that so much as glance at banner ads, he added, is too small to even quantify.
OK – here is 15 years of offline advertising experience speaking to you now. I remember the days of advertising when WWW meant the “w” key on your typewriter was sticking. The one thing that is different is that online advertising and marketing have “matured” to the point where online advertising and marketing operate under the same “rules” that traditional advertising has been laboring under for the past 50 years!
Measuring Advertising Effectiveness
One of the “rules” of old-school advertising that is true today is this:
Bad advertising has NEVER worked – PERIOD!
Bad advertising has never worked in the history of advertising. It’s never worked on television, newspaper, radio, billboards, etc. etc. However, it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of those ads. (Unless you create a call to action that asks them to visit a website.) People have ALWAYS tuned out sucky ads.
However, for a brief and shining moment when the web was new, sucky ads DID work. The reason? They were a novelty! People would click because they had never SEEN one of these before! Then, the banner ads got annoying.
In the early days of the internet advertising, banner ads would rapidly flash yellow/black/red to grab your attention. Their Call to Action was simply “CLICK HERE”.
The rise of these obnoxious banner ads was a clear signal to the end of the golden era when people would click on a banner ad because it was new. History repeated itself in 2008 with online videos. Sucky online video ads worked for a while because they’re a novelty.
We’re now squarely in the era where people are viewing ads online in the same manner as they view ads on any other medium. When they suck, people ignore them. When they don’t suck, people click.
The difference is – when you run a sucky ad on a website, you can WATCH as people ignore the ad. When you run a television ad, you can’t watch people head to the bathroom like you can when you advertise on the web.
By the way, asking someone to remember an ad they saw is a PURE exercise in futility!!! I had a client who was running a television campaign when he got a call from a new patient. He was anxious to measure his advertising effectiveness and asked if she had seen his television ad. No, she replied – she hadn’t seen the ad. He pressed on – “Where did you find out about me then?” She finally decided she had seen a billboard – only, my client wasn’t running any billboard ads – he never had! Don’t ask people how they found you – because they don’t know!!! Don’t annoy your new customers by grilling them like this! 80% of the buying decision is made on an UNCONSCIOUS LEVEL!
I’ve got a WHOLE CHAPTER devoted to the myths about measuring advertising effectiveness in my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. Pick up your digital copy for only $9.99 by clicking the button below.
Edited for content 03.11.2022