Why you should stop running those banner ads...NOW.

Do YOU actually click on Internet banner ads? According to the “Natural Born Clickers” research conducted with Starcom USA and Tacoda, the number of people who click on display ads in a month has fallen from 32% of Internet users in July 2007 to only 16% in March 2009, with an even smaller core of people (representing 8% of the Internet user base) accounting for 85% of all clicks. The argument for still running banner ads is that “click throughs” are not an accurate gauge for measurement, and that advertisers should be evaluating campaigns based on their view-through impact. I think that’s a pretty tough nut for advertisers to swallow. Although the data also showed a direct correlation between online banner campaigns and lift in search of the advertised product…it may be that online advertising is headed in the direction of traditional advertising. In other words, it’s all clutter, it’s all annoying, and users resist it.

Our advice? Start a dialogue with your targeted customers, rather than holding up (digital) signs in their face. If you are to advertise, consider linking to your social spaces, where you can capture a customer and engage in conversation with them. CRM trumps advertising, any day of the week.

- Carrie Kerpen, Queen Bee