Before putting a call-to-action message in online advertising, marketers should carefully consider the objectives of a specific campaign, because new research from Dynamic Logic shows there's little difference in brand performance of ads that have a call to action and those that do not.
"Calls to action tend to work as well as ads without calls to action," Lindsay Leon-Atkins, research director at Dynamic Logic, tells Marketing Daily. "But if a specific action is a campaign goal, there can be some [calls to action] that do work differently than others."
While time-sensitive online ads (such as those announcing the end of a sale) work to create brand awareness, ads that encourage consumers to create their own versions of a product (the color of a car, for instance), have more impact in raising brand favorability and consideration.
"'Create-your-own' ads have a really nice impact in terms of persuading people," Leon-Atkins says. "It really drives engagement with the brand."
As with any marketing technique, consideration of which messaging format to use depends heavily on the campaign's objectives. Too often, Leon-Atkins says, marketers want to put too many divergent messages (such as call to action along with a 'create-your-own' element) in an online display ad, forgetting that consumers have extremely short attention spans while surfing the Internet.
"Bottom line is -- it's about goals of the campaign for the specific ad itself. The best practices around creative remain the same: It's still about prominent, consistent branding with simple, concise and easy-to-understand messaging," Leon-Atkins says. "When you talk about digital display advertising, you really have a limited amount of time to communicate to a consumer, so whatever you can say simply and quickly is what they're going to take away. If you aren't that focused, you'll fail in the online space."