Research Shows Banner Ad Exposure Creates Results Beyond Clicks

(©Online Dating Advertising) Research has shown throughout the years that banner ad exposure is important to the success of services, providing benefits that go well beyond clicks.

In a study titled “An Examination of Different Explanations for the Mere Exposure Effect,” researchers found that a familiarity with the stimulus makes people more “fluent” at processing it, and that fluency makes people think they must like. it. The research also found that consumers have a high level of tolerance for repeated exposure to banner ads with little “wear-out effects”

“The mere exposure effect is the finding that repeated exposure to a stimulus, without giving people any information about it, leads to enhanced liking,” says Rohini Ahluwalia, Professor of Marketing at the Carlson School of Management in regards to his 2007 study. “That stimulus could be a variety of things, even a face, a symbol, a logo, a tune, a rhythm, or a color.”

An example for that could be recent banner ads and commercials that simply showed a 23 and picture of a plug against a green backdrop. It created curiosity and a buildup to today’s announcement(August 11, 2009) from GM that it is releasing a car next year that gets 230 miles per gallon. The buildup in curiosity with the ad exposure generated additional interest and excitement of the announcement.

Getting back to banner ads, the Exposure Effects study found that “online advertisers might be placing excessive emphasis on the click-through rates—the primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of online ads. Our results suggest that even when there is no overt sign of effectiveness, such as recognition or click through, the banner ads may still impact ad liking.”

Studies have also shown that long-term exposure to a message can influence consumer actions.  But the way an ad is presented could change that. For example, consumers are turned off by pop-up ads and it generally creates a distrust with companies that use that method a lot.

Banner ad campaigns should be a vital part of any long term marketing strategy for an online dating service.  Many middle-of-the-road online dating services can’t afford the mass TV advertising that sites like Match.com and eHarmony use to build brand awareness. Yet long-term banner campaigns across multiple target market sites can help branding efforts along with long term consumer action from exposure.

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