Banners Aren’t Dead

The lowly banner has been much-maligned in the trade press in recent years. But like so many things in the marketing equation, banners can have a place if used appropriately. I would concur for mass-market consumer sites. Banners are likely dead. The victims of too many re-finance ads, credit card offers, and mass branding efforts.

But in b-to-b the banner is alive and well. We recently ran a banner for a local CPA firm on the business section of a regional news site that pulled a 1.18% click-thru; about 4x the industry average. Another client’s programs are often exceeding 1% CTRs as well.

I think the secret is in your strategy for using and deploying banners. Too many marketers view them as advertising – much like print or broadcast. A more helpful perspective is to think of them as a direct marketing tool. In this model, the list, creative, and offer fuel success. With online you can target more tightly (like direct mail) and you’re motivating a response behavior (like direct mail) with impactful, relevant creative (like direct mail). And, unlike direct mail you can perform testing of these variables with almost real-time feedback.

If you have a solid message, the need to target, and a compelling call-to-action, consider an effective banner program for your next campaign.

Be Safe

If you’re like most of us, you probably take the security of your office (and other places) for granted. PWB had a break-in over a recent weekend. Through some good luck, nothing of much value was taken –  a couple of decade-old laptops and $15 in petty cash. But it was a good reminder.

It’s not uncommon for people’s personal property –  an iPod here, a digital camera there – to be out on our desks. Fortunately, it was a weekend and none were. And our hard-working staff with laptops had taken them all home.

The Ann Arbor police department has been chasing this guy for some time. He’s broken into several companies on the south side of town over the past year (including others in our building on the same day). But, so far no luck in apprehending him.

This incident was a good reminder for us – periodically take time to have a look around your office and stow your valuables. You never know, and a few moments could prevent a loss.