Hospital Advertising: Are Banner Ads Really Effective?

Perhaps banner ads have become so ubiquitous they are ineffective. They certainly aren’t very creative.

155425841Web banner ads have been around for 18 years and are the standard for web advertising.  As all other marketers, healthcare marketers have used them to create a web presence for their hospitals.  But are they effective?

Surely we can all agree they are mostly devoid of creativity.  And space limitations prohibit providing very much brand information.  And the scary thing is that some research indicates they are mostly ignored.

Digiday published some rather alarming facts about online advertising.  Here are some of them:

1.  Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)


2.  That’s 1 trillion more than 2009. (ComScore)

3.  The typical Internet user is served 1,707 banner ads per month. (Comscore)


4.  Click-through rates are .1 percent. (DoubleClick)


5.  The 468 x 60 banner has a .04 percent click rate. (DoubleClick)


6.  An estimated 31 percent of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)


7.  8 percent of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks. (ComScore)


8.  Up to 50 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)


9.   Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)


10. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. (Solve Media)


11. 15 percent of people trust banner ads completely or somewhat, compared to 29 percent for TV ads. (eMarketer)


12. 34 percent don’t trust banner ads at all or much, compared to 26 percent for magazine ads. (eMarketer)


13. 25-34-year olds see 2,094 banner ads per month. (ComScore)


14. 445 different advertisers delivered more than a billion banner ads in 2012. (ComScore)

These are startling statistics.  I would not go so far as saying banner ads have no value for hospitals.  Simple brand awareness and brand recall are valuable.  But we should be aware of the limitations of web banner advertising and invest your hospital’s media dollars accordingly.

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