I’m not suggesting that banners don’t achieve direct response, they can and do – however, you must try to remember that no-one was looking for your advert, it just appeared on the page they were looking at and although it may be interesting, the consumer may not be in the right frame of mind to buy from you right now. If they’ve seen your advert, however, they’ll be more likely to look for you when they do need your product or service – instead of going to your competitor.
In a nutshell – that’s why you should use banner advertising. Don’t think of increasing brand awareness as a pointless exercise, because although it’s not direct response, it will help you to achieve response.
Think of banner advertising as the rising agent in your cupcakes or the Miracle Grow in your garden – you could bake cakes or grow plants without them but with them, you’ll do much better; your cakes will rise, your garden will flourish and your advertising portfolio will achieve new heights.
When consumers know your brand or recognize your brand it instils a level of confidence and trust (unless they know your brand from ‘Rogue Traders’ or ‘Watchdog’) and this means that when they search for your product or services in Google or Bing or Yell.com; they’ll click on your advert and not someone else’s.
In addition to this, you need to think about where your new consumers come from. If you limit your advertising portfolio to purely direct response campaigns such as search advertising – you will only ever advertise to people who are looking for you. In order to expand and grow your client base, you need to attract customers from a variety of sources and inspire people who wouldn’t have spent their hard earned money on your product or service to do just that.