Researcn Behind the Numbers: Banner Life
Using “intelligent agent” technology, AdRelevance tracks impressions at 500 sites, according to Marc Ryan, director of media research. Currently, the 500 sites include 30-40 “broad reach” sites such as search engines, portals, and community sites, with the remainder considered “targeted” sites. The sites convert into at least 500,000 URLs and maybe more, Ryan says.
“Say we go 10 times an hour to a page on a site,” Ryan says, explaining how banner-run duration is measured, “and we see a banner three times during that hour, we assume a 30 percent rotation for the banner in that hour. Our sampling frequency is based on site traffic—more traffic, a greater frequency. We feel this gives us an appropriate sampling.”
AdRelevance says that almost 24 percent of banners at a given URL run for less than a week. Another 16 percent run no more than two weeks. The percentage continues to stair-step down (see chart) until it bounces up with banners that run more than 20 weeks.
While AdRelevance can track banner-run length at a URL, it may not know if the banner moves to another URL within the site, nor does it track the banner to a completely different site, Ryan says.
AdRelevance also reported that “weighting”of impressions varies with the length of the banner run. For example, in a four-week campaign, impressions ramp up during the first two weeks, the company says. Over a 12-week run, impressions ramp up in week two and then settle back to a consistent level. Apart from a peak in week nine, impressions in a 26-week campaign hover around a four-percent weekly distribution.
The report attributes the variations to advertisers’ strategies to front-load, back-load, or “pulse” the impressions, but Ryan says the variations could simply reflect fluctuations in site traffic, which cause fluctuations in distribution of impressions.
The report also maintains that the consumer goods industry does the most targeted advertising, with only 40 percent of their impressions on broad reach sites, and says that web media, financial services, and travel advertisers appear to be doing the least targeting with a majority of their banner impressions scheduled on broad-reach sites.
Freelance writer Dale Chaney can be reached at email@example.com.