In my last blog, I discussed the advantages of capitalizing on search engine marketing and search advertising; that is, pay-per-click advertising on search engines such as Google. A similar form of online advertising that goes hand-in-hand with search advertising is display advertising. Display advertising can be described as online advertisements that appear without a direct search. These often appear as banner ads, or ads running along the margins of a website. Being able to market to your audience when they aren’t actively seeking your business is the goal of display advertising. But do the costs of display advertising and outweigh the benefits and contribute to conversion?


Michael Blanding and Harvard Professor Sunil Gupta hold the answer in the article entitled ‘Search vs. Display Advertising: Which Promises More Bang for the Buck?‘ This article goes into detail about the difficulty in actually determining how much display advertising has on conversion. Gupta suggests that search advertising often gets the credit for conversion because it is closer to the buying-end of the purchase funnel. So, even if a display ad influenced a customer to click on a search ad, the search ad would get all of the credit. Gupta created a way to accurately determine the effect of display ads for major US bank through a series of complex algorithms. The results determined that search ads were more cost effective. However, the display ads still proved to be beneficial as they contributed to 20 new account openings. The end result showed that despite a higher cost, display ads were still effective. Marketers should allocate their advertising budgets in both search and display ads. If done correctly, a business will build a strong foundation to capture a bigger and better audience.


A business that has benefitted largely from display advertising is GymShark. I first heard about GymShark at the beginning of 2016 through a display advertisement. In November, a friend of mine recommended that I check out the website and some of the deals they were having for Black Friday. Ever since, I have consistently experienced display ads on a variety of different sites. GymShark started in 2012 and has already been making strides in the weightlifting and active-lifestyle community through a strong social media presence. The company has even made huge partnerships with professional weightlifters such as Steve Cook. There is no question that a mixture of quality and display marketing has help lead this business to success.



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