NONE: ONLINE-ADS>> Re: Modem Media's new model

ONLINE-ADS>> Re: Modem Media's new model

Cliff Kurtzman (
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 00:28:06 -0600

Maida Stupski, wrote:

>I beg to differ on the point that it takes 6 or 7 impressions to foster a
>click. I've read and heard that after *3* or so impressions and no click
>you can pretty much bet the end-user has seen the banner and has decided
>he/she is not interested in clicking. As a matter of fact, DoubleClick has
>based banner rotation on this theory for a while now. Think about your own
>"surfing" habits - after seeing the same banner 6 or 7 times are you more
>likely to click on it? I know I'm not...

My own experience, both online and offline, is that banner rotation, along
with the "3 impressions and then the value is reduced" study results should
be viewed with extreme caution and perspective. In some cases, this
approach undoubtedly makes sense, but in other cases it clearly does not.

The logic behind the 3 impression rule hinges on the notion that people
will click/buy based on the advertiser's timetable. The flaw in this logic
is that most items are more likely to be sought out at a time of need,
rather than just when someone sees an ad. I'm more likely to click a
banner when it is for a product or service I need at the time I am surfing.
Until that time, seeing the banner continually builds and reinforces my
awareness of the brand, but I won't click till later. If I later decide I
need the product or service, and go back and the banner is gone, the sale,
and all the brand building done, could well be lost unless I am able to
remember the business name and find the site with a search tool.

To give a specific example, the Tennis Warehouse has advertised on our
Tennis Server home page since June of 1995 with the same graphic and 40
words of accompanying text. The banner never rotates or changes (although
the text advertisements they put in the Tennis Server's monthly e-mail
newsletter change every month with their current specials.)

Numerous times, I have seen people write in to the
newsgroup asking for where they can find good deals on tennis equipment,
and the answer that usually comes back from someone (not us!) is along the
lines of "I got a really great deal -- I can't remember the name of the
store, but I found them on the Tennis Server home page."

If we rotated and changed banners, the value we provide to this advertiser
would be substantially reduced. There is great value to the advertiser in
being found where people expect them to be found. I know for a fact that
The Tennis Warehouse has done tremendously well with this advertisement.
The Tennis Server is so widely known within the online tennis community
that it is a common point of reference that most everyone can relate to and
find (it's both a "C|Net Best of the Web" site and in The Web's "Web Hall
of Fame"). Repeat Tennis Server visitors might not be shopping for a
racquet or shoes until they have visited the site for many months, but they
know that when they do need to purchase such an item, all they have to do
is visit the Tennis Server and click through.

We don't have multiple tennis stores advertising on the site at present,
but if we did, then I think it would be important for the successful ads to
remain generally consistent in unique appearance, so people can easily
identify and remember them when they want to return.

My own experience offline is in some cases similar. Before I started
buying my tennis gear from the Tennis Warehouse, I used a supplier I knew
could be found in an ad in the back of Tennis Magazine. I couldn't tell
you their name, but I'd instantly know their ad when I opened the magazine
and saw it.

Building a relationship with a customer requires gaining credibility, and
that often comes through being visible in a sustained and consistent manner
over a period of time. Having your banner be there one day and gone the
next does not seem to be the best way to make yourself findable when
someone decides it is time to actually buy your product.

Just some perspective from Houston.


Cliff Kurtzman
The Tenagra Corporation

Internet marketing, public relations, consulting and web site design

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