Even When People Don't Click

  • by December 18, 2000
Avenue A, Inc., a digital marketing and technology company, today announced study findings that prove banner ads increase conversions, which include site visits, registrations or sales.

The study also concluded that a majority of those conversions are "Awareness Conversions," which come from customers who see an ad but don't click on it immediately, but rather visit, register or purchase later on the advertiser's website. The results confirm that viewing banner ads increases both brand awareness and a prospect's propensity to convert. These findings are the first in a series of reports that will be introduced by Avenue A's Digital Marketing Insights program.

Pilot Study Illustrates Avenue A Findings

In a pilot study with a leading online and offline marketer, Avenue A proved that banner ads are effective in driving desired consumer activities. Through a tightly controlled experiment, Avenue A found that the client's online advertising campaign was directly accountable for driving a 10% increase in conversions.

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Avenue A also found that 80% of these conversions were from customers who did not click on banner ads, but rather converted later on the client's site. These "Awareness Conversions" are significant gains, especially for companies with a strong, established brand or those with substantial offline marketing spend.

Testing Methodology

Avenue A designated one test group of anonymous cookies to receive banner ads from the client, "Company X", and an anonymous control group to receive ads completely unrelated to Company X. Avenue A then counted the number of cookies in each group that converted on Company X's website. Because both the control group and test groups were randomly selected, it is valid to assume that Company X's offline campaigns and other promotions had the same impact on both groups. The difference in behavior, therefore, can be directly attributed to the online campaign.

How Will Advertisers Benefit From This New Finding?

Marketers use a variety of metrics to track the effectiveness of Web advertising. Some look at conversion rates; many still only track click-through rates. With the TrueLift(tm) testing methodology used in the pilot study, Avenue A evaluated the results of the client's advertising campaign compared to what would have happened if they did not run an online advertising campaign at all.

Using this methodology, Avenue A compared the results of a test group with those from a control group. This applies a principle that is central to standard scientific research to the world of web advertising. For the first time, TrueLift makes it possible to definitively measure what is immeasurable in the offline world: how viewing ads affects a prospect's decision to buy.

"We believe this is a breakthrough study, providing confirmation for those marketers who have reaped the benefits of online advertising for the last few years, and offering proof of the medium's effectiveness for

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