Display advertising, once the dominion of big brand advertisers, has undergone quite the renaissance the past few years and has become accessible to a much larger professional audience of Web marketers thanks to new targeting and tracking technologies. Display is back in a big way, but does it work?
What has changed over the past few years is that display, which was once used primarily to drive brand awareness, now has the ability to generate click activity as well despite the general perception that those clicking on display ads were "hardly an attractive target segment for most advertisers" according to a 2008 Comscore study which proposed that most clicks were accidental in nature. But the times have changed.
A recent study by Criteo (PDF) however may just change the tune of those that have been hesitant to engage in display advertising. Criteo found that:
- users that click on display ads buy three times more frequently than non-clickers,
- Almost half of regular buyers click on Criteo ads alone
- 20 percent of browsers are responsible for 50% of clicks and sales
- the more browsers click, the more they buy
"It has always seemed strange that clickers should be so valuable in a search context, and yet irrelevant for banner advertising. It is therefore reassuring that this new research demonstrates that clickers are highly valuable in display advertising as well, at least for any advertiser looking ultimately to sell something," said Pascal Gauthier, Chief Operating Officer at Criteo. "This huge study demonstrates that clickers buy much more than non-clickers, and that the more a user clicks, the more they buy."