Behind the Scenes: Unveiling Our Thoughts on Display Advertising

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Abdallah Al-Hakim

Let’s take a moment to chat about something we’ve been candid about – almost everything, except that one family member we avoid talking about at reunions: display advertising. At Metadata, transparency is our thing, but this topic has been the silent partner in our conversations. Why the hush-hush? Well, let’s just say display ads haven’t been the star player in our marketing game.

Sure, our platform supports display, but what’s the return on investment (ROI) we’ve seen? It’s been playing hard to get. We’ve given it a fair shot, but building an entire strategy around display? That’s a road we’re a bit skeptical about.

Now, we know some in the industry swear by display like it’s the bread and butter of marketing. For us, it raises a bit of concern if it’s the cornerstone of your strategy. Some competitors might bundle display into their pricing, but we’d rather see you get actual ROI than try to justify a channel that doesn’t quite hit the mark for us.

Here’s the rundown on why display hasn’t been our go-to:

They claim ROI based on impressions that may as well be whispers in the wind. Clicks? Often accidental or dancing with the fraud squad. And let’s not forget, they linger next to content, hoping someone gives them a nod. Not exactly the life of the party.

Account-based marketing is the cool kid, but it’s not just about targeting accounts; you need engagement for demand. Display? Not the most engaging companion. Social media, however, knows how to work the room.

For genuine demand and brand awareness, social media is our preferred wingman. It’s there, sleek, effective, and always in the user’s eye-line. Display, on the other hand, is more like the quiet friend in the corner.

And because numbers speak louder than words, here are some figures:

  • Up to 60% of mobile display banner clicks are bots or miss-clicks. Not the most trustworthy bunch.
  • Up to 33% of display banner impressions are never seen by a human. Are they hiding?

So, there you have it – our not-so-glamorous take on display advertising. We’ll stick to riding the social and search waves for a more dependable ROI. After all, who needs display when you can have a solid relationship with social media and search engines?

More statistics, with sources

  1. 17% of programmatic display clicks are invalid (2023)
  2. Up to 33% of display ads are never viewed by a human (2022)
  3. 60% of mobile programmatic display clicks are accidents (2016)
  4. 36% of all programmatic display clicks are fraudulent (2022)
  5. Up to 13% of all programmatic display clicks are accidental (2017)
  6. 51.6% of programmatic display ads are not seen by a human (2014)
  7. Display ads have the highest bounce rates of 55% or more (2018)
  8. Smartphone click fraud has been tracked at 14% for display ads (2017)
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