As it turns out, there are reasons – very good reasons – why marketers are relying more heavily than ever on SMS, email, and a myriad of other mobile marketing and advertising tactics instead of decreasingly effective and increasingly annoying banner ads.

“What if you could target an audience and match them up with your company based on the behaviors and interests they have exhibited?”

That’s the question — among several — posed by John Garcia in a recent post at The Business Journals.

John Garcia knows something about his subject. He has sold banner ads, and says that although he recalls a few successes, most of them fall flatter than pancakes.

“Banner ads are meant to target consumer eyeballs based on their search patterns instead of buying ads on particular websites that may or may not reach the intended consumer,” Garcia says. “This seems like a marketers dream come true. But does it work?”

Did you guess the answer? (You have two choices and if I were you I would pick the one with the least letters).

Garcia humorously notes:

  • You are more likely to complete Navy SEAL training than click a banner ad.
  • Only 8 percent of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks on display ads (and some of them aren’t even humans!).
  • The average person is served more than 1,700 banner ads per month. Do you remember any?

There are more examples – many more, in fact – but you get the picture.

“The problem is that we are conditioned to completely ignore advertising online because we are typically in a very different mind-set, resulting in very little to no engagement by the audience,” says Garcia. “One of the most common reasons we use our computers during the day is for work, and even if you’re goofing off (taking a human resources approved 15-minute break), your attention is on the content not the ads.”