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Subject: Re: UKNM: Investing in banner creative
From: Ray Taylor
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 22:15:47 GMT

We have run campaigns where multiple banners have been rotated at random on
a site, some good banners and some deliberately questionable, and the
difference in click through rates for each banner is instantly apparent from
the campaigns stats.

We always analyse (among many other things) cost per click.

Taking an example (ficticious):

If the media budget is 5,000 (is that what you mean by "tiny"?),
impressions are bought at 25 CPM the average CTR 2%, then:

Total number of impressions is 200,000
Total number of clicks is 4000
Cost per click is 1.25

If you designed one banner and it did not work too well on response and
produced only a 1% click through, then the results would be thus:

Total number of impressions is 200,000
Total number of clicks is 2000
Cost per click is 2.50

The ratios work whether it's 500 or 500,000 being spent.

Correspondingly, the cost per sale or per action is doubled if the CTR
doubles (obviously).

More importantly, the client's brand is at stake. Poorly executed banner
creative will at best produce low response, at worst make the advertiser and
its brand look stupid.

If the client has only "tiny" budgets to spend and they want traffic, they
might be better off spending it on search engine and other site promotion
rather than banners.

The point to emphasise is that every time you place an ad, even a tiny
little ad, you expose the brand good or bad. Even a single column classifed
ad, or a one-off job ad exposes the brand.

If they are after response, spending on the banner is as important as
spending on the media (not the same amounts, of course). I have just
convinced a client to run an interactive html banner at three of four times
the cost of an animated gif on the basis that it could double the CTR.

Work it out. Using the ficticious example above

- 5,000 media, 200 creative, 25 CPM, 2% CTR = 4000 clicks
- 4,200 media, 1000 creative, 25 CPM, 4% CTR = 6720 clicks

I repeat, it's not just about click-through, but CTR and cost per click are
the easiest comparable results to measure with a web campaign.

And what's the point of spending a tiny budget on online media if you don't
learn from the results?

But bear in mind some of the most expensive design agencies in the UK
produce crap banner creative for banners because they are hardly more
experienced that your clients. It's not yet a problem you can spend your way
out of.

You could try this as a tactic to convince them. Take whatever they produce,
have an external designer improve it (or design their own) and run both
banners rotating at random for equal numbers of impressions, and measure the
relative CTR.

If your budget won't stretch to paying a professional to do it, send the
client's banner to me (off list) and I will make some suggestions to improve
it, or if you wish I will redesign it myself. I am not a designer but given
the poor quality of so many banners, I can often do a better job than some
designers (..Ray ducks down below the wall to hide from righteous
indignation..).

Of course the best thing to do is to get the brief right in the first place.
Animated banners should be story-boarded and compared with a check-list of
imperatives like - strong call to action, clear message, good offer, etc.

Want to see some excellent banner creative from those lovely people at
Designercity? Look out for the Tesco free internet access banners now
showing. They beat the socks off the Virgin attempt at the same offer.

Anyone still reading at this point might want to consider joining the UK
Online Advertising discussion group and discussing this in more (?) detail.
I suspect lots of people on this list are already bored with discussion
about CPM, CTR and CPC. Email me off list and I will add you to UKOA. Thanks
again Sam for allowing the plug. This is the last time I will mention it
here.

Ray Taylor +44 181 639 0015 tayloratnmcadplan [dot] com
NMC/Adplan www.nmcadplan.com
Web advertising? If you're going to do it, do it right. Our advice is free,
our media plans save money, boost ROI, and help you get it right FIRST TIME
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