As I mentioned last week, bigger, more annoying ads don’t work and neither do general banner ads. What does work is targeted, relevant ads, in the right place.
We’re programmed to think that more is better, and bigger is better. We want to go faster, not slow down. However, that may not be the best choice.
For example, say your company produces time and billing software for law firms. Let’s also suppose that your local cable company has a special promotion this month: 500,000 impressions (views) of your ad, on their front page, for only $500. Sounds like a great deal. Maybe it is, for a general advertiser, but not for lawyers who need time management software.
You may get a lot of visibility putting your ad on the Comcast home page in your town, but you won’t get the right people. What you do want is to specifically target lawyers, and the sites that they look at. So, you might try American Lawyer or the local bar association. Since these are places that lawyers frequent, your message is more likely to reach them (your target audience) than if you put it on the Comcast page.
Have stories of your own advertising successes (or mishaps)? Share them here.
The Los Angeles Times reported (April 9, 2009) that the Online Publishers Association has just approved new extra-large Web ads. The association’s numbers show that web surfers are ignoring standard banner ads. So, in an effort to reach more people, they are launching three new larger ad formats: “pushdown” ads, which open to display a bigger ad; a”fixed panel” ads that appear to be part of the Web page, but scroll up and down as the user does; and XXL ads, which have pages that the user can turn.
Traditional advertising is designed to be repetitive, to “annoy” people, and to catch attention. The trouble (if you’re an advertiser) is that people are tuning out traditional advertising.
Looking at the LA Times site right now, there’s an ad for The University of Phoenix (an online university). I have a degree (from a brick and mortar school), so this ad is irrelevant to me. I won’t click on it, no matter how big it is, how much it flashes, or how many times I see it.
Bigger isn’t better. Relevant is better. What does work? Ads that appear when someone is already looking for something. Communications about something related to the content (such as a car ad next to a car review).
Blindly shooting and hoping to hit something won’t work.. no matter how big the ad.
What’s your marketing strategy? Are you targeting carefully? Or spraying and praying?