ComScore: Most Clicks Come From 'Natural Born Clickers'
It's time for online marketers to forgo click-through rates for a better measure of success, according to new data from comScore in conjunction with media agency Starcom USA and behavioral targeting firm Tacoda.
Indeed, the number of people who click on display ads in a month has fallen, from 32% of Web users in July 2007 to only 16% in March 2009. Worse still, an even smaller core of consumers -- representing just 8% of the Internet user base -- accounts for the vast majority, or 85%, of all clicks.
"Marketers who attempt to optimize their advertising campaigns solely around the click are assigning no value to the 84 percent of Internet users who don't click on an ad," said Linda Anderson, comScore VP of marketing solutions and author of the "Natural Born Clickers" study. "That's precisely the wrong thing to do."
Rather, as comScore research has shown, marketers need to embrace the fact that non-clicked ads can also have a significant impact on consumers.
"Savvy marketers are moving to an evaluation of the impact that all ad impressions -- whether clicked or not -- have on consumer behavior, mirroring the manner in which traditional advertising has been measured for decades using reach and frequency metrics," Anderson added.
The original "Natural Born Clickers" study, conducted using July 2007 comScore data, showed that 32% of Internet users clicked on at least one display ad during the month.
These "clickers" were segmented into heavy, moderate and light clicking segments based on the group of users accounting for the top 50% of clicks (heavy), middle 30% (moderate), and bottom 20% (light).
In 2007, comScore, Starcom and Tacoda found that heavy clickers represented 6% of U.S. Internet users, moderate clickers accounted for 10% and light clickers accounted for 16%.
By March 2009, those numbers had dropped substantially in each case, to 4% of Internet users for heavy clickers, 4% for moderate clickers and 8% for light clickers.