Bango -- which provides technology and services used by Google, Microsoft and other companies to grow online commerce faster -- bought space on a billboard in a PR stunt that ran in the UK to highlight the "pitfalls of search advertising, where it claims up to 35% of ads fail to reach their target audience."
Finaria, a global finance and investment company, estimates global search advertising revenue rose by 6.7% year-over-year to $152.6 billion in 2020. The trend is set to continue in 2021, with the entire market reaching $171.6 billion.
Analysts at Bango, a behavioral targeting company, believe search advertising is broken, so it used the least-viewed billboard in Manchester to illustrate that as much as $60 billion of marketing spend in 2020 was squandered on out-of-sight and out-of-mind on search ads.
The ad went up on the billboard owned by ClearChannel, which is located in an obscure area of the city, and will get “as many eyes as your expensive search ads.”
Based on ClearChannel data, per Bango, no billboard in the country is seen by fewer people.
Along with the "neglected billboard ad," the company ran an experiment analyzing more than 65,000 online search ad impressions. The goal was to determine if search ads really reached their intended audiences or if marketers are pouring money down the drain.
More than one-third of Bango’s test search ads served up to someone never reached the promised audience in Bango’s test.
For those that did, more than one-quarter failed to reach anyone in the market to make a purchase.
Bango ran the test to demonstrate that its Audiences platform, really geared toward social, works best.
The company says that by using by purchase behavior targeting marketers can reach potential customers based on what they have previously purchased online -- just not in search advertising.