If you thought banner ads were bad three years ago...

A while back I said that friends don't let friends post banner ads. I've also discussed that banner ads are a bad idea...so if you weren't clear as to my general thoughts on them...I not exactly a fan. Last week a friend sent me a link to a study that was taken nearly three years ago that gauges people's perspectives of various Internet advertising formats. What is most interesting is that despite all my disdain for banner ads...they're actually the most favorable form of ads on the entire list. The most obtrusive ads, like pop ups, are ranked the lowest. Here's the link if you missed it.

Two things came to mind when I saw this:

  • With the way technology has changed and the influx of text ads since this study was taken, I cannot believe that the numbers would be any better now. Three years ago people wouldn't have been as familiar with text ads (and therefore not known there was a better, less annoying way to do online advertising).
  • Let's say these numbers are still valid...look at the percentage of people who are not "very positive" about the selected ad methods. In every single case you are more likely to get a negative response than a positive response...so why would you do it?
I talk about all of this to say that if you're considering spending money on Internet advertising, particularly the forms mentioned in this study, there are better things you can do like blogging which won't cost you anything but will take some time to develop...and therein lies the problem.

Many organizations and marketing departments actually have more money than time. Yes, they'll say they don't have any money but what they have even less of is time. They have deadlines, timelines, and deliverables that they're trying to manage and all the while they can say (quite honestly) that they don't have time to set up blogs for the very products or services they're spending all this time on. The downside to blogs is that they aren't usually quick impact promotion elements, which are what many marketing people need...after all, it's in their timeline. So when they choose these methods, are they really saying that they prefer to annoy a segment of customers with minimal opportunities for return on their investments in order to fulfill their well prepared (though ill conceived) plans? Possibly.

The impact of blogs for promotion will rarely be immediate but you won't be frustrating people either. In the long run you'll connect to more people for longer through the blogs but you have to be in it for the long run.


Nathan said...

I think that a lot of what you are saying is very true... I also think that most companies and organizations think that they can magically generate more interest by placing some banner ads on a page. Traffic does not magically happen. It takes time to build.

john said...

I agree. Also, its interesting that the least disliked ads are also the least obtrusive. That correlation seems to hold all the way down to the widely disliked pop-up.