Selling banner impressions has always been anathema to me. Banners are either boring or obnoxious, usually have unengaging messages, and link to worthless homepages rather than helpful landing pages.
From an Advertising or Media company standpoint, banners are not wholly profitable because the CPM (cost per thousand) market price keeps falling, while their effectiveness as a Mass Media tool falls even faster. People block ads, they don’t translate to Mobile very well, and the beneficial ability to specifically target a small group of people who might actually be interested in the banner message doesn’t pay off very well with their “sell it by the pound” philosophy.
From an Advertiser standpoint, the clutter is outrageous, the click-through is miserable, banner-blindness is real, and you constantly have to fight with the agency to verify your impressions actually ran because nobody seems to be clicking on your ads. By comparison, old-school Junk Mail sounds better.
While I am saying banners by themselves are pretty useless — I will say that with all of the audience targeting available (if you can get a Media company to sell you what you want rather than the billion-impression campaign package they want), it is possible for digital display advertising to prove worthwhile when employed with a sound marketing strategy.
I’ve said it before on a website devoted to the topic:
Do you want Banners or Buyers?
Now it’s reported that Twitter is playing the impression-stacking game by counting impressions made by screen refreshes (because their users constantly refresh the screen to see new posts.) Twitter says the refresh shows continues audience engagement, I say if they didn’t click your banner when it sat on their screen for 5 minutes, what makes you think the refresh button will refresh their interest in your message? Twitter is just burning their Advertiser impressions quicker so they can get to that magical “per-thousand” number (and paycheck) faster.
The Advertiser is in the driver seat — refuse deals like this and insist on sound marketing strategies that deliver buyers, deliver qualified leads, and ultimately deliver the results you’re seeking — instead of merely delivering impressions.