According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, June 2007 issue, while repeated exposure to banner ads can generate positive feelings towards the product being advertised, close re-evaluations can make these positive feelings vanish.
If you read the summary at the Journal of Consumer Research, (You have to subscribe to get the research paper), you'll probably be left confused. However, John Timmer at ars technica, provided a suitable translation.
In essence, research conducted by Xiang Fang, Surendra Singh and Rohini Ahluwalia, applied some advanced theories such as cognition-based perceptual fluency/misattribution theory (PF/M) and the affect-based hedonic fluency model (HFM) to web banner advertising.
The ultimate conclusion of the research was that repeated exposure to a web banner resulted in an increase in positive feelings towards that product. However, in a second test, detailed evaluation of the product produced a negative effect.
Timmer summarizes why this is of interest: "The first is that banner ads may provide a valuable function in fostering familiarity even if those that view them never click through to the source of the ads. The downside for advertisers is that any evaluation of the positive impressions that this familiarity creates, even one based on false premises, is enough to make those positive feelings vanish. This suggests that familiarity-based advertising may work best for impulse buys, where more detailed evaluations aren't likely to occur."
What Does this mean for CAD marketing?
If the results are correct in their conclusions this provides a strong lead as to why many in the industry are unhappy with web-based banner advertising. If close evaluation of the product is needed, this research indicates that this can increase negative feelings towards the product.
And impulse buys in CAD are few and far between and based on price/performance: I might risk $39 for a very simple application (a no-brainer kind of price) but anything over $100 would require evaluation. At least, i would...I am not sure what the no-brainer threshold is for others in the industry.
In a previous posting in this blog, I pointed out an increased demand for 'specials' by advertisers in the CAD world. There is evident discontent with the actual quantifiable results that are being gained from web banners. But then it starts a whole discussion about why banners are not as successful as people want, and what vendors should do as an alternative.
Sure enough, since then, we have seen an increase in 'old fashioned' advertising outlets such as belly-bands on print CAD magazines and an increase in CAD-focused direct mail...you know, the stuff that's delivered by a postman, not an email server.
Conversely, though, Google is busily buying up banner advertising server companies such as Doubleclick, activities that imply that banner advertising is alive and well. But maybe they will just have advertisers that promote impulse-buys. not much help for the CAD industry there!
I'll be watching this closely in coming months