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U.S. States With the Lowest Click-Through Rates Are Also Those With the Lowest Obesity Data demonstrates that the states responsible for creating digital ad technology also happen to be the ones least likely to react to them -- probably because everyone's outside running or skiing or just being healthy in general.

By Peter Gasca

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It should be no secret that the vast majority of firms creating the technologies we use every day are based in California, including those technologies that are responsible for transforming the way we consume and engage with advertisements. These interactions, known as "clickthrough rates," are the prize when it comes to digital marketing -- the goal of which, of course, is to get people to react to your digital ad, drive traffic to your website and convert a sale.

Related: 6 Email-Marketing Techniques That Boost Click-Through Rates

What may be surprising is that the same region of the U.S. that is creating these technologies are not reacting to them. According to Priceonomics, data compiled from AdRoll, an online platform that makes re-targeting simple and profitable for companies, seems to indicate that while California may be the hub of technology development, it also seems to be the region least likely to click on digital ads.

In fact, while California as a whole ranks 38th in clickthrough rates, San Francisco, Fremont, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, California -- right in the heart of Silicon Valley -- all rank in the top-10 least-likely cities to click on ads.

Why is this data important? Simple. A marketer's goals is to achieve the highest rate of return on advertising campaigns. And while small changes in clickthrough rates may seem inconsequential, when you consider the 287 million Internet users in the U.S. alone, they can have a significant impact on revenue.

Related: 6 Google Ad Extensions to Supercharge Your Clickthrough Rate

So what can marketers take from this data? Is the technology industry simple a poor segment for digital marketers to consider?

Maybe not. In fact, if you look further into the data, you find that the highest clickthrough rates come from the southeastern regions of the U.S. One might presume that the high clickthrough rate is due to the fact that individuals in this region simply use the Internet more. In fact, they seem to use the Internet less, with Mississippi, the state with the highest clickthrough rate, ranking last in the U.S. in Internet penetration.

Dive into the data a little more and you find another correlation. In the south, obesity rates are much higher than those in the west. And, again, the state with the highest rate of obesity in 2015? The same with the lowest Internet penetration rate: Mississippi.

Moreover, the states with the lowest obesity rates happen to be the same as those ranked highest in outdoor activities in the U.S. and -- now not surprisingly -- the same states with the lowest clickthrough rates.

So maybe clickthrough rates have less to do with people using (or avoiding) the Internet and digital ads and more to do with spending time outside -- and consequently less time in front of the computer or surfing the web.

Related: Leveraging Big Data to Boost Click-Through Rates

All of this means that digital marketers should not to turn their back on the technology industry just yet. Instead, they simply need to find other means to reach them -- perhaps with the good, old-fashioned outdoor billboards.

Peter Gasca

Management and Entrepreneur Consultant

Peter Gasca is an author and consultant at Peter Paul Advisors. He also serves as Executive-in-Residence and Director of the Community and Business Engagement Institute at Coastal Carolina University. His book, One Million Frogs', details his early entrepreneurial journey.

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