As an eMarketing professional, you need to utilize many different tools available to you--like a water color artist does when he/she blends different colors to create a beautiful picture. From a marketing standpoint, your picture (e-business) has to be accessible and create customer attention. As you learn these principles of the new economy, your ultimate objective will be to market through all channels of contact and earn consumer attention.

Advertising and the Internet have formed a unique marriage, relationship of perfect harmony yet ever changing.  The two have spawned a brand new vocabulary that eMarketing professionals should know and understand. Following are some of these words and definitions:

Advertising Definitions

Banner Exchange - Where sites exchange banner advertising usually on a reciprocal basis

CTR (Click Through Ratio) -  The most common form of measuring a successful advertising campaign.  CTR is the percentage of the ad views that result in an adclick.  Ad view or ad impression are the number of times a visitor downloads or views an ad banner.  Recently, average clickthrough rate has declined to about 0.17 according to Nielsen Netratings.  While the average e-mail marketing plan averages a response rate close to 5 percent.  The decrease in rate will help online marketers receive lower priced banner ads because the conversion rates will have more weight.  The conversion rate is equivalent to a completed sale or other online action taken by user after a click through.

Click Per Click -  is another form of measuring advertising dollars.  CPC's are what businesses pay for every individual who clicks on the ad.  This is generally favorable for the business buying the ad, because they don't pay unless there is action taken.  This is becoming more popular as return on advertising investment is critical. 

Cost per click is calculated by:  Cost per Click (CPC) = CPM / (CTR * 1000)
For example, if you paid $15 CPM for a banner with a 2.5% CTR, the CPC could be calculated.

A companion term/synonym for CPC is:  Cost Per Visitor (CPV) -  CPV is calculating the cost of advertising for every visitor.

Hit - One of most misleading forms of measurement related to people seeing a web site is known as a "hit."  If a company tells states they are getting a lot of "hits," this represents a bright red flag of ignorance.  A hit is basically a request by a server for any element on a web like a graphical image or text block. For example, if a page has 6 images on it, and is requested by the browser, the "hits" may jump by "7":  one for the page and six for the images. A better way to analyze traffic is to calculate the click through or conversion rate, or unique visitors or page views on the site. 

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) -  CPM is the amount of dollars it costs to receive a thousand impressions.  CPM originated from the worlds of print and broadcast media where advertising is revenue and branding is the main objective.  Most CPMs can range from $25 to $60. 

Cost Per Sale (CPS) -  CPS is the calculation of how many ad dollars a company pays per sale. 

Impression -  A measure of how many times a banner is displayed.  Count one  impression each time the banner is shown. 

Page View -  A measure of how many times a complete page is displayed.  Count one page view each time a page is displayed.

Banner Views - Similar to page views, banner views track the number of times a banner has been viewed.

Run of Site (ROS) -- Run of a Site advertising is less expensive than more targeted advertising methods.  ROS refers to displaying a banner ad throughout a website or a banner network but without the targeting; in other words, the ad displays on a variety of sites without a target audience in mind. 


Banner Information

Banner advertising began in 1994.  At that time there were so few banners that click rates were as high as 25%.  Today they are a fraction of a percent.  Many marketers attribute the decline to "banner fatigue"; so many banners being presented to the public that people close them before they fully load.

Many advertisers believe the sole function of the banner ad is to persuade Internet surfers to click, but establishing and building brand awareness is also an important aspect of banners. 

 The most popular banner ad is the horizontal banner which is placed along the top or bottom of a web page.  According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (www.iab.net), the standard banner size is 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels high.  This takes up approximately 10% of a normal sized web page.  There is enough room for text, graphics or animation.   Some advertisers experiment with rich media banners.

The secondary form of banner advertising includes buttons, micro buttons, sponsorships, or any other creative forms.  It creates more of a magazine look to a web page.  Since most banners only hold the attention of a visitor for at best 3 to 5 seconds, design is very critical.  Concise, clear messages that are to the point are most effective. 
 
 

Example e-Marketin Magazine banner ad example
Example e-Marketin Magazine banner ad example

Banner Sizes
Traditional magazines and newspapers sell ads in standardized sizes to simplify the process of selling ad space and to clarify for those designing the ads.  Online banners vary in dimension which can make pricing ambiguous and subjective. Having set standard banner sizes would assist with pricing standards and help the site designer plan  the ad space into the site as part of the site layout.
 

Size
(pixels):
Type
468 x 60 - Full Banner
392 x 72 - Vertical Navigation Bar
234 x 60 - Full Banner 
125 x 125 - Half Banner Square
120 x 90 - #1 Button
120 x 60 - #2 Button
88 x 31 - Micro Button 
120 x 240 - Vertical Ban 
Size: 120 X 60
Size:  125 X 125

Size: 468 X 60

Successful web sites have strategically placed banner ads with the goal of generating qualified traffic to their sites.  However, keep in mind how unrealistic it is to drive sales effectively using banners on their own merits.  Banners may get people to your site -- but then site design, product offering, pricing, and other factors determine the final outcome of the visit.

Branding
The most ambiguous aspect of banner advertising is measuring the direct and indirect effects  on people who see the banners.  Tracking clicks on a banner is relatively easy to measure because the user took a direct course of action.  However, measuring the impact on someone who saw an ad and later produced a positive reaction to the ad is less than an exact science.

To overcome this problem marketers and researchers are pointing to the power of branding.  AdKnowledge reported in November 2000 that 40 percent of people that didn't click a banner ad, but who recalled it, made a purchase between 8-30 days later, Banners create brand awareness which hopefully leave the brand image in the minds of the viewers. Click Through Ratio and Cost Per Sale are measurable.  Branding, on the other hand, can be a difficult item to measure.   Marketers hope that when consumers get ready to become customers that they will have been exposed to the brand enough to form a level of recognition with it.  Surveys and other forms of marketing information management can help to measure brand awareness.   Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter & Co had this to say in February 2001 regarding measuring brand awareness:  "It is [the] interaction that makes rich media ads over 5 times more effective for branding than traditional GIF banner ads" 
 

Purpose equates Results
In order for your banner advertising campaign to be effective you need to focus on what you are trying to accomplish.  Do you want a direct response or to build a brand?  Choose your need and focus on it -- remember a banner ad is a tool you can mold. 

Your banner ad needs to correspond with your goals--for a direct response priority, it should create an immediate call to action.  One of the ways to measure this model is to look at the number of unique visitors before and after the campaign.

Conversely, if you want to build brand awareness you need to take a different approach.  consider using traditional and online advertising methods in conjunction, so that you can build brand through repetition.  Your banners need to be creative, as a result, they may not boost your click rate quickly.  That is not an unforeseeable problem because building a brand takes a long item and it is harder to measure than a direct response campaign.

You need to be aware of your overall objectives, maybe banners are not the best vehicle to carry your marketing message.  Creative forms of sponsorships or advertorials might fit your needs, especially if you are trying to build knowledge of your company.  Another path to consider is extending the creativity of your banners.  For example, www.advertising.com is launching a new promotion that will enable companies to offer coupons to people who click on the banners.  They can either print the coupon or have it sent to their mobile phone.

Everything you do in accordance with your banner advertising needs to point back to your measurements and your goals.  In fact, page views, clickthroughs, or any other measuring term won't provide your e-business success unless you have definite goals in your marketing plan.

Additional Resources

Visit the following sites for additional information and resources:

Rich media

Rich Media ads differ from banner ads.  Banner ads present a message and hope site guests will find the data interesting and click.  Rich media advertising does not guide a site guest to another site; the entire message is located in the ad so site guests can receive the message and not leave the site displaying the advertisement.
 

Since its inception in 1997, the term "rich media" has been used to describe multimedia advertising on sites.  In the beginning stages of trying to "jazz" up Internet ads, java applets were used.  Java applets were successful in returning a 50% increase in response from site guests over traditional static banners, but the applets took a long time to load and many were clicked off before they were ever viewed.  Companies knew the ads were more attractive but many felt the extra expense for development and delivery over static banner ads, coupled with the slow load times was too risky to venture into. 

In October 1998, Narrative Communication Corp joined forces with three major marketing companies: The CareerBuilder Network, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), and SunTrust Banks - to create Enliven 3.0.  Louis Goldner, Digital Technologies Manager at Procter & Gamble said this at the time, "This technology is a great example of pushing beyond traditional banner advertising.  Its new, user-friendly interface provides us with the opportunity to present informative ads that help consumers make better buying decisions."  At the time, Louis was referring to technologies

As more and more companies sought ways to deliver rich media marketing messages, Macromedia came along and "shocked" the world with Flash and Director software programs, the two most popular Internet multimedia software tools used today.  The initial drawback was in educating Internet users on the need for the plug-in.  In 1998 and 1999, visiting sites and being greeted by the little blue puzzle piece icon (a symbol indicating the plug-in required to view the content was missing) was common.  Many people didn't know what the symbol meant, and there either wasn't instructions included with the pages for downloading the plug-in or the site guests left before reading the instructions.  Yet people did embrace the new technology and today most children in North America have played an Internet game or two created with Macromedia products.  In addition, the major browsers now come built in with the plug-in required for viewing Flash and Director files.  The plug-in is also available for a free download from Shockwave.com and Macromedia.com

Superstitial, inc. is one rich media marketing and development company that is  making a name for themselves online with rich media ads created using Flash.  To see some of their ads, visit Superstitial.com

Activities

 
Activity  - Build Banner Ads

Part A -  Using online Resources
Use an online resource to create a banner ad.  Here are a couple of places to complete this portion of the activity:

    1. AdDesigner.com
    2. Online Animation at http://animationonline.com/mlm has a free banner creation service.  Complete the following steps for Part 2 of this assignment:
      1. Select the best banner for your target audience from pre-made banner designs 
      2. Add the text you desire
      3. Click the button that says "Make Banner"
      4. If the text doesn't all fit or look right, click the "Back" button in your browser and try again
      5. When the image looks as you imagined, right click on the image to save it.
      6. Show the banner you made to an instructor.  Here is an example of a banner created there:

      Banner Ad.  Message:  Learn e-Marketing to Succeed


Part B - Conducting some Research
Part B of this assignment is to research what currently is being said about effective banner ads.  Find an article that answers the question "What makes an effective banner ad?"

Here are some addresses that may help accomplish finding the information:

  1. Article/online Tutorial  from WDVL (Web Developers Virtual Library) entitled: "Designing Winning Banner Ads."
  2. AdRelevance - www.adrelevance.com
  3. Advertising Age - www.adage.com
  4. Internet Advertising report - www.internetnews.com/iar
  5. Iconocast - www.iconocast.com
  6. Banner Tips - www.bannertips.com
  7. Interactive Advertising Bureau - www.iab.net
  8. Branding information from Enliven - www.narrative.com

Part C - Creating a Banner Using Software
 

  1. Create a banner using Fireworks or another graphics editing software tool
  2. The banner is required to be one of the standard sizes
  3. You are required to apply the information you found in Part 1 of this assignment
  4. Print a copy of the banner and write on the printout:
    • The drive and folder name you saved your banner in and the name of the image. 
    • Include a note as to whether or not the banner is animated so your teacher will know if there is more to the image than what appears on paper.  Staple the printout of your banner ad to the printout of research. 
  5. Make sure the concept in the research you found in Part 1 and applied to the banner in Part 3 is clearly marked on what you turn in.
  6. You may be wondering what you are marketing.  Good question.  Be creative.
  7. Describe on the printout what you are marketing in the banner.