Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

Decline in Ad Clutter and Affiliate Marketing



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There are lots of hands being wringed as large advertising agencies figure out what to do with declining advertising budgets. One meme that keeps popping up is “targeting” or “drilling down” to find the most pre-qualified traffic.

One thing is clear…smart affiliate marketers have known not to clutter their pages with irrelevant or poor performing ads for years. What affiliates have learned is that clutter itself isn’t necessarily the problem. The problem are the offers or sites being linked to and diluting the overall responsiveness of the site and its visitors. Choose wisely when placing ads.

As the CPM market continues to tank, look for more “revelations” from the Madison Ave types as they “uncover” the types of methods that affiliates have been successfully using in the direct cost per action or rev share market for a while now.

A new piece in AdAge today lays out some of the resulting brush clearing around ad cluttering on the web:

Some Respite for Consumers as Ad Clutter Clears on Web – Advertising Age – Digital: “Yes, the land of aggravating pop-ups and automatically expanding rich media is cleaning up its act. In aggregate, web surfers are exposed to 12% fewer display-ad impressions per page view than they were a year ago, according to ComScore AdMetrix data. Whether it’s a purposeful improvement or by default, one thing is clear: For consumers and advertisers, it’s a good thing.

Dynamic Logic has been looking at clutter for a while and has found it reduces the likelihood of a message getting through. Last year, a study conducted with Dynamic Logic, Starcom and DoubleClick found that a 15% increase in ads on a page results in about a 10% decline in click-through rate. The study took into account how much video or rich media was on a page since it can also be perceived as clutter. Additionally, Starcom figured in quality, as bad ads can create a perception of higher clutter. “

Again, I’m not sure how this is surprising. Of course, I don’t work in the branding world either, so common sense is a big part of my success metric. Surely, clutter can kill. But don’t mistake options and aesthetics for performance.



Posted: 10.27.2008

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