Ninety nine percent of online advertising doesn’t work. Two more reports highlight the appalling click thru rates generated by online ads. One from Adtech and another from ABI.

After a study of more than 10 billion banner inquiries across Europe, Adtech found the average click-through rate fluctuates between 0.11% and 0.19%.

That’s a 99% failure rate for attracting visitors to your site. Any sporting coach with a 99% failure rate would quickly find themselves looking for a different line of work.

So why do so many people keep wasting huge amounts of money on something that is a total failure: In a word: HOPE.

But as a good friend of mine always used to say, “Hope is a t*#d with a cherry on top.”

For those of you who are ready to abandon hope and try the world of effective marketing then enter here.

The famous old quote goes: "I know 90% of my advertising doesn't work, I just don't know which 90%." (Yet another example of Paretto's Law.) For online advertising we could change that to "I know 99% of my online advertising doesn't work, I just don't which 99%." I'll give you the tip: All of it.

There have been numerous reports published over the past 10 years all highlighting that online advertising doesn’t work. See Online Advertising Doesn’t Work - Yet More Evidence

Update: No sooner had I penned this piece when I came across this great article from Eric Clemons, Professor of Operations and Information Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania titled Why Advertising Is Failing On The Internet.

A fabulous read, and if you still believe in online advertising after reading it, then there's no hope for you.

However, if online advertising doesn’t work then what are marketers and business owners supposed to do?

Number One Top Online Marketing Tactic:

- Improve your conversion rate.

Latest conversion rate statistics for the top performing sites have their rates around the 40% mark.

  1. 1:Schwan’s 42.10
    2. ProFlowers 36.50
    3. Quixtar 33.20
    Source Nielsen.

However, the average for the vast majority of sites is less than 2.0% Source Fireclick.

There’s a lot of work for most of us to do. You could improve your results by 2,500% just by working on this. So who needs to worry about online advertising when there are these sorts of results waiting for you?

Number Two Top Online Marketing Tactic:

- Improve your email results.

In a previous post Email Still King of Online Marketing I pointed out how email is still one of the best marketing tools you can use for producing real, tangible results. Just because it’s cheap, don’t treat it as a cheap solution. It brings in huge revenues, so look after it. Use the best tools, the best design, best copy, best analysis you can afford and then watch the results pour in.

Number Three Top Online Marketing Tactic:

- Improve your organic search engine performance.

No surprises here, except to say you just need to keep working at it. Create lots of good quality, relevant content, and then hire a great SEO consultant. The conversion rate from organic search engine traffic is far greater than any other form of online referrals.

Number Four Top Online Marketing Technique:

- Market Offline.

Offline marketing is one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your website. See another earlier post for more details To Market Online You Must Market Offline
There are a whole host of offline marketing tactics that you can employ, and by far the strongest is Direct Marketing/Mail. Yes the produce a letter, stick it in an envelope with stamp and post it affair otherwise known as snail mail. Thing is, it's fantastic at producing results. See How To Get More Customers Online for the full story.

Number Five Top Online Marketing Technique:

- Word of Mouth.

Hard to do, but produces fantastic results when properly implemented. It’s a tactic for only the seriously committed. Your product or service has to be good, if not great, and that’s just the starting criteria. For more on how word of mouth works see the following posts Word of Mouth Marketing

And of course, Social Media now plays a huge role in word of mouth marketing. It’s basically WOM on steroids, and it can also work against you if you don't pay attention to it. If you upset a customer these days, they can tell the whole world overnight.

Implementing all of the above should probably take the rest of your life, and then some. Don’t waste time worrying about online advertising, you have more important things to do.





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