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Commentary: Making Net advertising pay

Advertising on the Internet remains feasible for brand awareness, and consumers do take notice of ads, whose type and size matter.

By Denise Garcia, Gartner Analyst

Advertising on the Internet remains feasible for brand awareness. Consumers do take notice of ads, whose type and size matter, and enterprises can no longer judge an Internet ad campaign solely on its click-throughs.

Gartner agrees with the basic premise of the research on Internet advertising conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Microsoft's MSN.com and DoubleClick, announced on July 18. The group found that the Internet remains a useful medium for brand advertising and that ad size, technologies and placement are crucial for success.

The Internet's targeting abilities initially set it apart from other avenues for advertising, and most online media sites developed business models almost completely dependent on ad revenue. When the medium did not live up to the promise of delivering true one-to-one targeting, it lost favor among advertisers, and online media sites seemed powerless to stem the loss of revenue.

The findings by IAB, Microsoft and DoubleClick are good news for both advertisers and Internet sites that rely on ad revenue. They include the following:

• Branding ads lift consumers' awareness by 85 percent.

• Banner sizes affect brand recall--the larger the ad, the better.

• Ads designed using Flash technology are significantly more effective than those using other technologies.

• Ads placed between pages significantly increase awareness.

Although the report reveals a trend toward "co-opetition" between media companies, such as MSN and DoubleClick, it also highlights the need for more of this type of study, and many studies will likely follow from online media players. Gartner believes that advertisers must move away from measuring the success of their campaigns by click-through metrics alone. Gartner recommends the following:

• Brand advertisements should be generally larger--certainly bigger than the standard 468-by-60-pixel banner size.

See news story:
Net ads: Size does matter
• Ads should include Flash animation and be placed between pages.

• Marketers, agencies and online media properties should conduct pre- and post-awareness studies rather than rely on click-rate only to measure the success of their branding campaigns.

(For a related commentary on the need for analytics to support e-business initiatives, including online advertising, see Gartner.com.)

Entire contents, Copyright ? 2001 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.