Expandable Banners, Bulgaria & UX

Couple of days ago, I tweeted that an expandable banner on www.topsport.bg (a Bulgarian sports news portal) will result into me taking that site out of my bookmarks and respectively daily reads. The funny thing here is that I am a digital marketer and yet I despise some forms of digital advertising formats as an industry professional and as a user. But not to confuse you, let’s first paste the screenshots of the expandable banner. (It took me 4 days to chase it among betting banners, online shops etc. all advertised in that particular header space)

Topsport.bg-expanded-banner Topsport.bg-closed_banner

Naturally, you click on the pictures and they will expand for a better view!

Now that you saw the screenshots, you can imagine what is the frustration when you open the homepage and 3/4 of your screen is taken by a giant banner with a fridge in it. Even the hot gals are not helping your resentment to disappear. But the biggest turn off here is that you have to manually close the banner. It does not shrink itself after a certain period of time. So guess what are the number of clicks that are shown to Samsung by the portal owner and the agency that came up with this genius idea. But don’t worry, the marketer at the Korean electronics manufacturer that had agreed to this is also in the same team with the previously mentioned guys.

I’ve been hearing from left and right, how marketing professionals on the client side are not happy with agencies and portals. I hear that most of the latter had recently (few months ago)  switched from CPM (Cost Per Mille/1000 impressions) to CPC (Cost Per Click) basis. CPA seems to be an unknown metrics here. Besides there are whispers of kickbacks that portals offer to the client marketing manager that makes sure that ad budget will be spent with them… Well, it’s a shame. Let’s hope that the guys that organize WebIT (eAcademy) will change that situation and make Bulgaria a professional, innovative and digital business environment.

UX or the expanded version User Experience is a notion that embodies user’s emotions, rational and satisfaction while browsing a site and performing a task. It is not about just putting a website on the internet and waiting for the users to come visit and then visit again. It is also not about approaching advertising in a mass media way screaming your message at your customer (I would love to see the figures of Clicks vs. actual Samsung fridge sales in Bulgaria for the time period the banner is on).

Creating a good user experience is a tough job in relation to advertising revenue. There are few things you should have in mind:

  • Digital is about conversation and choice. By using expandable banners that are not closing automatically after few seconds, leaves no choice. The user becomes frustrated and guess what good it will do to Samsung’s fridge sales. (By the way, the original banner from 4 days ago had the company logo, the one now does not) ; )
  • Static banners are a bore and so the banner blindness comes to life. Expandable? Or you will actually see what Nivea came up with a few pixels lower on the screen? Be creative, engaging and complementing the task performance, not disrupting it!
  • Measure, analyze and tweak! Always! Campaigns are not a static process that ones you came up with the strategy, the copy and the media-buy, you are done. No, you owe it to yourself to make sure that your investment is taking the maximum out of the ad dollars spent.
  • And for crying out loud, use the thought  ” Good user experience brings more sales” as your starting point!

@ Topsport.bg, I enjoyed your information feed for many years. But I think we need a break. It’s not you. It’s me…

@ Samsung, I am not interested in your fridge. Care to explain why I have to click in order for it to get away from my screen?

@ The Agency that came up with that idea, shame on you and get out of the digital arena! Do what you do best – offline mass media!

Copyright © 2010 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.