Mark Wilson
Author Mark Wilson
Posted in Marketing
December 18, 2014
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What Do Display Advertising and Tree Falling have in Common?

If you are chopping down a tree, which strike makes the tree fall?
The first one? Last one? Maybe it’s the 37th? The 100th? (seriously though, you’re chopping game is weak if you’re taking that long)

So what the hell does amature forestry have to do with digital marketing?

It turns out chopping down trees and digital marketing are not very similar at all, but in this case it makes a pretty good analogy for display advertising.

What is display advertising you ask?
Display advertising are those banner ads that you see on sites all over the web that you most likely do not click on.

Why doesn’t display advertising generate many clicks?
The problem with display advertising is through the years a stigma has become attached to these ads and people are hesitant to click because one of these two things will happen:

  1. You visit the website and are now forever stalked by this companies ads (Most Likely)
  2. You click the ad and immediately get thrown into the seedy underbelly of the internet where you contract a virus and your computer dies!! (Least Likely - depending on the content you were looking at to begin with)

So why would you invest your hard earned marketing dollars on these ad spots if we all think no one clicks on them?!
The answer is because every touchpoint with your prospective customer counts at least a little  towards the end goal of making a sale or generating a lead in the same way that every chop counts when cutting down a tree. More than likely you will have multiple touchpoints with a prospect before a sale is made. Which touchpoint caused a conversion is often unclear because it’s not as simple as looking in your analytics and seeing where a lead or sale came from.

Another way to think about display is to picture ads for Coca Cola. There is no CTA (Call To Action). Generally no response wanted at all. All the ads accomplish is keeping the brand in front of as many people as possible. This is the same mindset to have with display ads. Their value for conversions will not be able to be measured directly, but they do keep eyeballs on your brand.

I’ll admit, display advertising has gotten much better in recent years with added sophistication in regards to tracking conversions that involved a display ad, the viewability of the ads as well as much better ways of targeting your ads at audiences which are more likely interested in what you’re selling. There is also the specialization in display which is called retargeting or remarketing. You’ve probably noticed these around the web, those ads that seem to follow you around. That’s because that is exactly what is happening. Those companies have targeted you specifically with their ads. But retargeting is a whole other can of worms we’ll get into in a future blog post.

At the end of the day display ads are not for every business, but they can be a good tactic to know about and keep in your marketing toolbox. If you want to learn more or see if display ads are something that will be a good fit with your business, contact us for more info.

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