I'm surprised there hasn't been more focus on the recently updated report from comScore/Starcom/Tacoda titled "Natural Born Clickers." An overview can be found here, but the conclusions are startling:
- The number of people who click on dislpay ads has dropped from 32% to 16% in the last 2 years.
- 8% of all Internet users account for 85% of all clicks
- 4% of all Internet users are considered "Heavy Clickers" – and make up 50% of all clicks.
Seth Godin talks about it here – likening the focus on just those who click to targeting only left-handed people.
What it highlights is the need to focus on more than just the click - I think the industry is in the situation it is because the click was just the easiest metric to measure back from when the first Zima ad ran on HotWired 15 years ago and got a 78% click-through rate. Remember when we used to talk about how many "hits" your website got and how meaningless that metric quickly became?
The click is still an important metric and a strong signal, but it's time for the industry to move forward wiht better targeting, understanding the value of the impression, embracing social media and new relationships between users and brands, and new forms of engagement. We've got a few companies working on it, and would love to see more working on the problem.