What bad online ad data is really telling us

Click fraud, bad metrics, and BOT’s are all leading a lot of marketers to question the effectiveness of Internet advertising but the that maybe the wrong message.  What it should be screaming is that marketers need to put as much effort in developing online ads as they do offline ads if not more.

I’m always amazed when clients complain about the performance of their online ads.  The first question I always ask, “did you test the ads?” and “did you develop a series of ads to communicate the key benefits to your target audience?”.  To date I have not heard “yes” from any clients, just we used some of the offline ads for creative.

The other key aspect to remember is that ads don’t always need to be clicked on to be effective.  If DiGiorno is advertising a new pizza do you really need to click on the ad if you’re interested or will you just make a mental note to purchase it on your next shopping trip?  However, the question of value and ROI is always going to be debated with online ads.

To make online ads even  more effective you should everything there is to know about your audience beyond demographics.  Where do they vacation? Where do they eat? What are their favorite websites?  You can never have too much information on your current customers; the more you have, the more effective your online ads.

Marketers have to share some of the blame for ineffective online ads.  Until they make the ads compelling and personally relevant online ads are going to continue to take heat from agency people who make a lot more money from TV ads than online ads.

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