Over at Mashable, Todd Wasserman highlights something I’ve believed for quite some time: While few people click through a banner ad, that doesn’t mean it has no value.
For instance, click-through is actually a poor measure of performance. It’s impossible to click through a billboard ad, for example, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. If you drive the same way to work every day for a month and see that same billboard for the new Adam Sandler movie, I’d bet you a Happy Gilmore DVD that you remember the name of the movie, know a bit about the premise and have already decided whether you want to see it or not. Yet, if that same ad appeared online, chances are you’d be among the 999 out of 1,000 who didn’t click through to learn more.
Yeah, they’re pretty much background noise on websites. But I’m seeing more and more banners and display ads for brands whose sites I’ve clicked on. The ads are following me to other sites, and while it’s very creepy, it also keeps those brands top-of-mind for me.