Banner advertising – ongoing struggle for awareness

According to the internet facts report published in September 2013 by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung e.V. (AGOF – working group for online research), “Internet users are particularly open to advertising campaigns”. More than 23 million German users said that they had often become aware of interesting products through advertising and, in many cases, made their purchases directly online.

It is therefore no surprise that advertising banners, pop-ups and layer ads are in wide use and that almost all advertisers value their efficiency when it comes to customer acquisition and increasing sales. The online advertising market grew to 6.47 billion euro in 2012 in Germany alone. This information is collected by the Online-Vermarkterkreis (OVK – Circle of Online Marketers), in which German banner advertising providers are organised. According to this, the internet is the second largest advertising medium following television in the media mix. The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) estimates annual industry growth of 2.8 per cent until 2016.

This offers the best prospects for the market and hence for all websites offering banner space. After all, the Internet with its free offerings is still largely funded by advertising revenue. The big winner here is Google with its market share of 31 percent. The competition takes small pieces of the rest of the pie. As the second largest digital advertising seller in the world, Facebook holds a 7.4 percent market share including its mobile version. The desire of advertisers to launch multi-screen enabled campaigns is contributing to this development. Advertising should be equally effective on a variety of devices – from desktops and smart TVs to tablets and mobile devices of all shapes and sizes. Thus far, Google offers the widest ranging network and the suitable technology to achieve this.

In addition to technical aspects, however, the industry continues to seek ways to make banner advertising successful despite an all-pervasive “banner blindness”. Numerous studies show that the vast majority of internet users simply overlook advertising. After all, the average user sees more than 1,700 banner ads monthly according to comScore. Often users just feel annoyed by advertising, especially if it affects usability, as is the case with overlays.
But online advertising is effective due to its peripheral effect even if users are not actively aware of it. According to a 2012 advertising impact study conducted by premium marketer OMS in collaboration with Eyesquare, even casual visual contact with online advertising has a positive influence on the advertising effectiveness parameters awareness (+28%), image (+4%) and impact (+10%).

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