The Norton AntiVirus team had a targeted display ad campaign on CNET/Download.com with a baseline performance of a 1% CTR (click-through rate). If the campaign could be optimized to a 3% CTR, they would be able to break even on the costs of the campaign.
The campaign began with existing creative, designed by the in-house team. In addition, there was an interactive video banner creative, designed by an external agency. My role was to manage and optimize campaign, utilizing all available resources, which included my own design skills. The campaign optimization ran as a week-over-week series of A/B testing. Reporting was provided by CNet/Download.com.
After 5 weeks of testing, a 3.6% CTR was achieved. The campaign optimization continued for an additional 5 weeks, at which a maximum CTR of 6% was achieved. This was the highest historical performance to date for any ad placement on the CNET/Download.com website.
Over 30 pieces were created and tested in this campaign, and a select few are displayed above. Can you guess which was the 3.6% CTR winner? What about the 6% CTR winner?
As a design professional, I was very surprised to discover what banners customers clicked on and responded to the most strongly. It was not necessarily the prettiest or most interactive banner. Optimizing this campaign was a very insightful and humbling experience.
Key lessons learned:
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