A research update for comScore's "Natural Born Clickers" study from a study first conducted two years ago reveals some alarming stats for Internet-focused advertisers. While banner and display ads are ubiquitous on websites all over the Internet, the percentage of "clickers" is precipitously falling.
In the 2007 study, about one-third (32%) of Internet users clicked on ads; in their updated March '09 study, it's down to an alarming 16%.
That translates to 8% of Internet users accounting for 85% of all clicks. So what does that tell us about the efficacy of Internet advertising in 2009?
First, online advertising is missing a whole lot of web users. Campaigns that are focused on clicks are off-target in reaching a mass appeal Internet audience.
Second, the click-through as an evaluative measure is insufficient in measuring campaign effectiveness. comScore talks about the value of web advertising in overall brand "lift" - whether consumers visit a brand's site, buy products offline, etc.
Finally, Internet-only advertising is myopic in its approach. A web campaign is not sufficient to move the sales needle.
The drop in clicks is real, and that underscores the importance of multi-platform, integrated advertising programs for retailers and businesses - and not just committing the lion's share of ad dollars online.
And that's where radio comes in because of its ability to provide a wide variety of engagement tools - from its website features to texting to on-air advertising and testimonials to event production. At a time when American business is struggling to generate sales and brand awareness, radio truly has an opportunity to use a study like this to underscore its value.
It's time to start marketing and emphasizing results.