Posted August 25, 2011 3:18 pm by with 3 comments

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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.

  • Cynthia,

    I love the idea of a “no click ad campaign” using a heat map. I find this very innovative. We pay exorbitant fees for Google Ad words, and sometimes we wonder what we’re getting for it. Another ad service we’re considering is Facebook ads, which are more targeted to types of interests, hobbies, age, and region. We decided against paying for promoted tweets and promoted YouTube videos. I see a lot of action on the paid Twitter end though, although not as much on YouTube.

    What is your opinion about paid space on YouTube and Twitter? Have you found it to be effective?


  • No offense,
    But my spider sense is going off big time.

    This sounds like nonsense. Attribution by source is difficult enough (last click attribution etc). This company now claims that people looking at stuff is a viable model. This claim, when I saw the source is ADWEEK sorry, the emperor has no clothes. This is another sorry attempt to bamboozle the same audience that spends ridiculous amount of cash on immeasurable, if not vague promises from traditional ad agencies. whoopdie $#@!$#% doo, you use heat maps. If I look at Victoria Secret catalogue and stare at a particular bimbo’s assets. Can your systems prove this is a metric which determines which brand of lingerie the customer ultimately buys?

    There is nothing wrong with banners; at least Google provides assisted clicks and impressions.
    but the visitor still has to hit your site (Do something). There still has to be some sort of measurable action? What is MOATS measurable action?

    The only question you must ask regarding any company is how does this company MOAT make money? Do they sell heat maps? Do they aggregate which ads are displayed on Ad Network.
    Final question would you fork over cash to buy what they sell?

    I went over the website; the product description is so vague it’s almost invisible!

    I see a lot of anecdotal evidence, I see a lot of fancy pretty photos and I see a nice movie with Predator overlay (Animated Heat maps).

    My answer is sorry…no way.

  • Clicks only became necessary with digital. Most brands were built, and still are, by recognition, awareness and amplification of their message by being noticed… sponsorships, billboards, street campaigns, magazine ads, tv, banner ads, email newsletters, etc., etc. There is huge value in being immersed in a brand in many different formats also including social media, customer service (do not forget this so very important touch point) and the building of relationships.