Have you clicked on a display ad today? The odds are you haven’t since, “99.8% of users who view an average display ad don’t click.” But if you spent any time at all on the internet today, you probably saw dozens of ads and maybe you even remember a couple of them. See, that’s the interesting thing, you don’t have to click an ad to remember it and clicking doesn’t mean you bought something when you got there. And yet, clickthroughs are still our chief means of measuring ad success.
Moat wants to change that with their “No Clicks Campaign.” Their position is that an ad can be engaging without being clicked and they use a heat map to prove it.
The simple logic is that the eye follows the mouse. The heat map shows where a person dragged their mouse and how long they stayed where it landed. Ipso facto, spots that show the warmer colors are effectively grabbing a user’s attention.
The color map I’ve added here is from a Bing demo. The point it makes is that the woman getting into the cab is being bombarded with marketing information on billboards, cab advertising, even on the side of a bus that passes by. She absorbs all of it to varying degrees, and may act on some of it when she gets home. Remember us – the highly suggestible creatures – a Pizza Hut ad on the side of a passing bus might be all it takes to make her chose them over competitor Dominos.
Which brings us back to start-up Moat. Their “No Clicks Campaign” is out to prove that there are meaningful metrics beyond the clickthrough. And though we all know it’s true, quantifying success in a dollars and cents way without clicks is going to be tough. Will brands pay for display ads based on the number of heat signatures that show up on a page?
mediaForge is also looking past the clickthrough, charging their clients based only on “ad engagement.” They’ve launched a new search retargeting ad program, a system that delivers personalized ads based on specific keywords a user typed into a search engine. CEO Tony Zito says,
“We are a performance-based company, so we only charge our clients when someone buys something, and we can demonstrate we influenced the purchase.”
In other words, pay us when we prove our efforts drove a customer to buy your product or service. That’s about as fair as it gets. And as long as the customers are buying, it shouldn’t matter if they got there by clicking an ad, through a search page or typing in a URL they remember. It’s all income in the end.