"The data demonstrates that online advertising continues to prove its effectiveness for marketers, becoming a more creative yet at the same time standardized medium," said Doug Knopper, Vice President and General Manager, Online Advertising Solutions, DoubleClick. "It is encouraging to see that marketers are not just relying on click-through rates, but are also assessing all kinds of post-impression responses to optimize campaigns and gain a more complete picture of conversions."
Rich Media Impacts Conversion Rates
Rich media, often used for branding objectives by entertainment, automotive and packaged goods advertisers, has proven to generate higher rates of post impression activity per impression (.78% vs. .41% for non-rich media), demonstrating that consumers are likely to take some kind of action after viewing an ad. For advertisers using direct response metrics (click-throughs), rich media click-through rates have declined slightly to 2.14% from Q4 2002 levels of 2.44%. This could be due to advertisers using rich media creative for branding and thus not eliciting clicks from the consumer.
However, overall click-through rates have remained stable since the beginning of 2002, currently averaging .7%. View-throughs, which assess some action observed within 30 days of a consumer viewing an ad, have continued to rise, and are now averaging .61% for ads served by advertisers. While click-throughs assess immediate response, view-throughs reflect the latent impact of an online ad. This metric has become an important factor in accessing the overall effectiveness of an adverting campaign.
Primetime on the Internet is Work Time
For online, primetime is work time with impression volume peaking from noon to mid-afternoon EST and then gradually declining throughout the day to a low point at midnight. Click-rate volume also peaks during this time.
Publishers continue to take advantage of content targeting. This tactic has grown from 42% of all ads served by publishers last quarter, to nearly 50% in Q1. By tagging specific content areas of their site and selling that inventory to relevant advertisers, publishers have been able to increase the value of their inventory and the effectiveness of it for advertisers. While day-parting -- or planning advertising using specific times of day to reach implied audiences -- has been much discussed as a potentially effective technique for online advertising, in reality it is little used. Less than 3% of all ads served by DoubleClick use this targeting parameter.
Increasing Standardization of Sizes
In comparison to television, which has three basic ad units (the :60 spot, the :30 and the :15), online has a nearly infinite creative palette, which has made the medium particularly complex for advertisers. But as the industry matures, patterns of standardization are emerging. For the first quarter since DoubleClick began releasing these statistics, the number of ad sizes used declined -- from 11,500 to 10,529, an 8% decrease. In addition, on average, 70% of all sizes are Internet Advertising Bureau standard.
The standard banner (468 x 60 pixels) is still nearly half of all ads served (46.7%), while the 120 x 600 skyscraper is the next most popular size, accounting for 6.9% of all ads served. Skyscrapers (120 x 600 pixels and 160 x 600 pixels) and large rectangles (336 x 280 pixels and 300 x 250 pixels) are the fastest growing units in the system: skyscrapers have nearly doubled since Q1 2002, now accounting for 8.4% of all ads served.