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I stumbled across this eye tracking study showing how people look at web content. Whether a quick scanning, partial reading, or thorough reading, the eyes rarely took in the ads. The study calls this “banner blindness”.
The banner blindness phenomenon extends beyond banner ads to advertising in general. Even though ads are more pervasive than ever, it is easier than ever to ignore them.
Banner blindness raises the importance of evolving beyond paid media alone. Here’s a handy chart from Forrester on the different complementary roles of paid media, owned media, and earned media.
Forrester goes on to say:
“Your paid media is not dead, but it is evolving into a catalyst. Many people are predicting the end of paid media. However that prediction may be premature as no other type of media can guarantee the immediacy and scale that paid media can. However, paid media is shifting away from the foundation and evolving into a catalyst that is needed at key periods to drive more engagement”.
When we think of paid media as a catalyst rather than as the foundation, it forces us to raise our game. There is no longer a captive audience. Our communication can’t afford to be “blah blah blah”. As marketers our goal in everything should be to create marketing worth sharing at the start.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)