Who clicks on ads? It’s all about relevancy.

apophenia wrote an article about “who clicks on ads? and what might this mean” which talks about that common phrase from people – “I never click on ads”. It then concludes that the majority of people clicking on ads online are from the lower socio-economic groups online, taking this conclusion from a study produced by AOL. Go here to read the full article.

AOL’s customer base has traditionally had a bias towards this demographic and this would certainly lead to them having a skew towards this demographic clicking on ads. Even more so, marketers advertising inside AOL seem to understand this and display banners suited to this demographic. Yet those same marketers do not seem to do this in the wider Internet. If this demographic is clicking in the majority on online ads, then surely the majority of agencies are wasting their client’s money online?

I don’t agree with this conclusion, not just because doing so would mean Google’s valuation would very quickly collapse 😉

People do click on ads online, but they do so only when it is of interest to them (or to put it another way, when they benefit from clicking). Whether it is because they are in the market for a car and see a car ad they liked, or because they have seen a film trailer they want to find out more about. Marketers everywhere are trying to show an ad to the right person in the right place and at the right time. Achieve this and click-thru and economic returns would be sky high. This is why Google is doing so well, its technology is able to place adverts in front of you at a time when you are interested in a specific topic.

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