Among the "highlights:"
- "Interaction rates trended slightly lower when comparing Q4 2010 to Q4 2009" - Display is still a challenged medium if you're looking at clicks as a key interaction metric.
- "Use of rich media ad formats have doubled." - No surprise here. If you can grab the user's attention, it should only improve performance.
- "Larger ad sizes tend to generate greater response" - Big ads! Once again, if you can get in front of the user by taking up more screen real estate, you'll get more interaction. Higher CPMs, too.
One thing that would be interesting for the display ad team to benchmark in the future is around scarcity - having fewer display ads on a page. Does that impact display ad performance? One would think so. "Big ads" are one form of scarcity in that they likely take the place of several smaller ads.
Another interesting benchmark would be around brand metrics. Click, views, mouseovers, reach frequency - some sort of semi-secret sauce, mash-up formula (the Google GRP - the GGRP?) that might give a sense of how awareness is being driven in display - or not.
For all of you data visualization lovers, Google has put together some slick, Google "Watch This Space"-branded data viz interpretations of the Benchmarks including:
Given some of the tepid but refreshingly transparent results about the display channel shown in Google's study, it's clear that display isn't easy - it's not Search that's for sure!
By John Ebbert
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