All Ads Are Not Created Equal: Display Advertisement’s Copy and Placement Effects on Clicks and Conversions

53 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2020

See all articles by Lara Lobschat

Lara Lobschat

University of Muenster

Niels Holtrop

Maastricht University - School of Business and Economics

Norris Bruce

University of Texas at Dallas

Ram C. Rao

The University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management

Date Written: February 4, 2020

Abstract

In today’s media ecosystem, advertisers face the challenge to create ad campaigns with the ability to engage consumers and ultimately increase conversions. Hence, they need guidance on how to design promising ad copies and on which websites to deliver these ads. In this study, the authors analyze how different message content and ad format elements influences consumers’ likelihood to click on an ad and subsequently convert on the advertising website. Additionally, they explore the effects of placing an ad on different websites. The main results suggest that message content and ad format that enhance engagement do not necessarily enhance conversions. Furthermore, several novel findings pertain to placement in social media and use of influencer marketing: display ads are effective on social media, especially with hard sell messages. Influencer ads increase engagement more than conversion and are more effective outside social media. A simulation reveals the impact of optimizing ad copy and placement decisions: optimizing ad copy decisions has larger effects than placement decisions and synergy exists between both decisions, offering further guidance to managers.

Keywords: Display advertising, conversion, engagement, ad copy, ad placement, purchase funnel, social media, influencer marketing

Suggested Citation

Lobschat, Lara and Holtrop, Niels and Bruce, Norris and Rao, Ram C., All Ads Are Not Created Equal: Display Advertisement’s Copy and Placement Effects on Clicks and Conversions (February 4, 2020). Wharton Customer Analytics Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3531468 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3531468

Lara Lobschat

University of Muenster ( email )

Schlossplatz 2
Muenster, D-48149
Germany

Niels Holtrop

Maastricht University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Netherlands

Norris Bruce

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

Ram C. Rao (Contact Author)

The University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management ( email )

Dallas, TX
United States
972-883-2580 (Phone)
972-883-6727 (Fax)

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