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Old 12-03-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Web ad effectiveness

From “Web Marketing That Hopes to Learn What Attracts a Click” by Stephanie Clifford in the business section of today’s New York Times:
The creators and designers of ads have long believed that a clever idea or emotional resonance drives an ad’s success. But that argument may be difficult to make when analysis suggests that it is not an ad’s brilliant tagline but its pale-yellow background and sans serif font that attracts customers.
Goes on to explain that a couple of California companies are experimenting with on-the-fly changes to ad pages based on what the viewer has responded to in the past. More details in the Times article.

My favorite is the last sentence:
Even Mr. Moeck said he was often surprised by the success of certain ads. “Some of it, I just scratch my head and say, ‘I have no idea,’ ” he said.

   
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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I've been running banner ads, often amateur-designed, on a specialist website for a couple of years, and find that click-throughs have nothing to do with design or context and everything to do with content.

   
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:27 PM   #3
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and find that click-throughs have nothing to do with design or context and everything to do with content.
"Nothing to do" may be an exaggeration. Perhaps, "little to do," would be better. I suspect you're right, content is primary -- but then how do we understand and control that??

If we had a product and interviewed the first 100 or so buyers and asked at what exact point did you make up your mind, and we saw a pattern, then we would know to go directly to that point in the ad. Sales people just have a knack for knowing, and I always look for critiques from them when I can. America has the heaviest dependence on a jury system in the world by far, and it is amazing how much study and testing goes on to determine what factors are involved in how a jury reaches a decision. I think some day we will have the same thing with sales in general.

But there should be a way at looking at an argument or sales pitch and getting a good idea of just where the point of decision is made. With having such a system, we could then know how to do a fast and sharp focus in effective communication. I have a method somewhat, but I think I should want to improve on it.


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Old 12-04-2008, 11:38 AM   #4
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I've been running banner ads, often amateur-designed, on a specialist website for a couple of years, and find that click-throughs have nothing to do with design or context and everything to do with content.
That's a tough one to measure.

For a user interested in horses, a tack ad would have more appeal than one for scuba gear.

For the same user, which of two tack ads with the same content, but good vs bad design would be more attractive?

Or would a graphically rich ad be more attractive than a rather plain one?

Would a snappy Flash ad be more effective for younger audiences where a simpler or at least more static one would work better for older audiences?

Oh ... sorry. Were you waiting for answers??? No help there, I'm afraid.

   
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:02 AM   #5
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The ads I'm talking about are simple banner ads in forums. Ads for saddles, horses, horse floats, coaching by popular coaches, and properties get heaps and heaps of click-throughs, no matter what they look like. The readership is mostly female, ages from 12-60+.

One thing I do notice is that ads for sale of items peak quickly and die quickly. Ads for services have lower peaks (they tend to have fewer impressions per month) but retain their interest. Which indicates that people read the content...

But as I said earlier, it is a very specialised market. Non-core ads don't do well at all.

   
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:51 AM   #6
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The ads I'm talking about are simple banner ads in forums. Ads for saddles, horses, horse floats, coaching by popular coaches, and properties get heaps and heaps of click-throughs, no matter what they look like. The readership is mostly female, ages from 12-60+.

One thing I do notice is that ads for sale of items peak quickly and die quickly. Ads for services have lower peaks (they tend to have fewer impressions per month) but retain their interest. Which indicates that people read the content...

But as I said earlier, it is a very specialised market. Non-core ads don't do well at all.
That's one of the reasons Google ads do as well as they do; to the extent possible, they match your interests. Or best guess, depending on what you're looking at on the web page.

   
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #7
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That's one of the reasons Google ads do as well as they do; to the extent possible, they match your interests. Or best guess, depending on what you're looking at on the web page.
Google ads on the same pages bring me in a very small income. Click-throughs on them are not popular at all. Of course, as you say, with Google ads, it's 'to the extent possible'. In my case, the advertiser is often in the US.

   
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:00 AM   #8
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What's a web ad? ;-)

(Firefox/AdBlockPlus user here...)

   
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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The thing that helps pay the overhead for a lot of the "free" sites we enjoy on the web.

   
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:42 AM   #10
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What's a web ad? ;-)

(Firefox/AdBlockPlus user here...)
What Steve said. Fortunately for those of us who would have shut up shop years ago if not for discreet, non-blinking ads for services and goods that people are interested in, lots of people look at them and click through to the services and goods advertised.

I block annoying popups, but not legitimate ads.

   
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