Online Display Advertising; An Overview & Benefits

Don’t underestimate the value of online display advertising. When promoting your business, there are three important factors to consider: visual interest to grab attention, enough frequency to maximize exposure, and relevancy to optimize response. With its creative and targeting capabilities, display ads offer many benefits to a business.

Think of display ads like Billboards or outdoor advertising in a sense. The purpose of display ads is to get people to become aware of your brand and your message which can encourage lead capture and sales. Click-through rate shouldn’t always be the primary metric you use to judge the effectiveness of the campaign. Due to the building of brand recognition, display ads can provide a lift in brand searches, search engine click-thru rates, direct website visits and online/offline purchasing. This doesn’t always happen immediately, but over time and with enough targeted frequency, ads can encourage people to revise their search behavior and just type in the name of your business into Google or go right to your website. This may not have been possible without the increased awareness provided by a banner ad.

Benefits of Display Ads

Effective Targeting

When online advertising, it is important to target the people most relevant to your business. You can create specific targeting parameters for your display ads: which sites they appear on, which geographic area they appear, which demographics to target. You can also target IP addresses and households, computers or mobile app placements, and most importantly, based on data compiled by data aggregators like Experian for B2C and Bombora for B2B, audiences most likely to be interested in your business or products.


Display advertising also allows for retargeting. With retargeting, your ads are served to those who have previously visited your website. The goal of retargeting is to provide conversion lift by reaching audiences who haven’t make a buying decision or performed a lead capture yet.

Branding Leads to Action

Online display advertising campaigns can improve or build brand awareness of your products and services. While paid search advertising reaches an audience with an intention to buy, display can create an initial interest, and thus enables people to enter their buyers journey that results in a lead or sale.


Yes, display is hard to measure. Consumers who have seen banner ads is difficult to measure (for example, measuring (un)aided brand awareness, ad recall / awareness and purchase intent) and thus not easy to translate the strategy into value. Issues like banner blindness, click fraud, and visibility certainly exist. That being said, stats like view-through conversions and assisted conversions have value with measuring display performance. The more opportunities you have to measure performance on your website, the more data points you have to measure the relationship of website engagement to advertising. Examples are newsletter sign-ups, website phone calls, chat engagements, and more.


Display advertising is big business. Programmatic platforms are growing. Why? TV viewing is changing, and media habits are evolving, especially with younger audiences. Marrying power creative with targeted media channels is advertising 101, and display advertising is an important channel to build awareness and contribute to conversion; it’s just not easy to connect the dots, but research has proven the lift display brings to sales and lead generation. Don’t avoid it; embrace it.

About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.