Online Advertising

Does It Work?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the March 1999 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com. Subscribe »

Question: How many of us really look at those little banner ads floating at the top of Web sites?

Answer: It's hard to tell.

Most Web advertisers agree banner ads are an excellent way for getting company names and messages out to the masses, and studies have linked Web banners to higher brand awareness and consumers' incentive to buy.

A January 1998 report by Forrester Research, however, showed advertisers are baffled by the impact of their banner ads and unsatisfied with the methods sites use to track responses. "Media sites and advertisers resoundingly agreed: Ad measurement on the Internet is a mess," the report states. Reasons cited for messy ad tracking included: hyped expectations, a lack of agreement on standards, technology obstacles and a fragmented ad delivery process.

Online ad agencies and ad software companies are pushing for standards to resolve these issues. In fact, a bona fide movement is underway-these specialists are perfecting technology that would measure ads' effectiveness and count the number of click-throughs (people who click on a banner ad to reach an advertiser's site). Soon ad software companies will be able to track users' demographic and behavioral characteristics as well.

Does the Internet provide a foolproof way of measuring the ad responsiveness it initially promised? Obviously not. But with industry standards and technology hurdles being addressed, Web advertising may soon live up to advertisers' high expectations.

Bronwyn Fryer writes about technology for Newsweek, C/NET and other publications from her office in Santa Cruz, California.

More from Entrepreneur

Terry's digital marketing expertise can help you with campaign planning, execution and optimization and best practices for content marketing.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.