Display Marketing

Display marketing is advertising on graphical screens on the internet. The advertising media used are images, videos or animations, as well as text links and moving images, which are delivered on various end devices such as desktop PCs or smartphones. Display displays are billed either via CPC or CPM. Conversion-based calculation of display advertising, such as in affiliate marketing, is also possible. The primary goal of display marketing is to increase brand awareness and reach.

Display marketing synonyms include display advertising, online advertising, banner advertising and internet advertising. At Google AdWords, displays are also called "picture ads". [1]

General information on the topic[edit]

A classic online advertisement consists of both graphic elements, such as banners and buttons, as well as text and image content. Users view this advertisement material when they visit a website that has integrated it. The advertisement material can be clicked on and often redirects the user to the website of the advertising company. Special landing pages or corresponding product and category pages of the advertised contents are also common.

At the beginning of a display marketing campaign, there is always an advertiser who is willing to convey the advertising message and a publisher who provides the necessary resources (website, AdServer). While the publisher requires a website through which the advertisement will be relayed, the advertiser must prepare promotional content. Display marketing works with numerous advertising formats that are placed on a publisher’s website. For example:[2]

  • Banners in different sizes and with different functions (static, animated, interactive)
  • Pop-ups, pop-under, layer ads
  • Skyscrapers, rectangles, leader boards
  • Content ads and sponsored content
  • Verbal placements and text links
  • Rich Media contents such as inter- and superstitials, expandable ads
  • Motion pictures such as flash videos, streaming video ads, or e-mercials

These online advertising formats are only standardized partially. The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) recommends certain formats. However, these are not binding. In general, publishers accept the formats and comply with the relevant criterial and billing models. In Germany, the Online-Vermarkterkreis (OVK – Circle of Online Marketers) attends to such formats.

Moreover, the formats are constantly changing and increasingly using modern technologies, such as HTML5 for animations, or complex methods for targeting, retargeting, and tracking in order to improve the efficiency. The advertising media that is used is often dependent on the environment of the publisher. The more formats and technologies a publisher can implement, the more options the advertiser has. In particular, developments in mobile, moving-image, and Big Data fields present a whole new level of possibilities for online advertising.

Forms of display advertising[edit]

There are different concepts and strategies of display marketing.

  • Ad Network
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Real-time bidding
  • Performance marketing
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Contextual targeting
  • Native advertising
  • Programmatic Advertising
  • Multi-display marketing: Basically comparable with multi-channel marketing but is based on the different graphical output media such as smartphones, tablets, phablets, and desktop PCs.

The objectives of display marketing are also different: On the one hand, sales, leads, and orders can be increased. On the other hand, campaigns can serve to promote the branding and image. As for the branding, reviewing the success in terms of performance marketing is, of course, more difficult.

Display marketing billing[edit]

For a display marketing campaign, advertisement space on the respective portal must first be booked or purchased. Here, the principle of online advertising is similar to that of offline advertising in newspapers and magazines. The advertiser reserves advertising space, the publisher publicizes the advertisement. The only difference is the medium that is used, i.e. the Internet. Billing is, however, far more precise in Internet advertising. This is because different parameters are hereby taken into account. The most commonly used is the CPT (cost per thousand). Also common include CPC (cost per click), CPL (cost per lead), CPS (cost per sale), and combinations of the various parameters.


  • Large scope of the campaigns
  • Different target groups can be addressed directly
  • Numerous advertising formats and concepts for target group-oriented relay
  • Graphic banners are also compatible with mobile applications
  • Effective performance with cookies and other tracking methods
  • Users are immediately enticed to buy
  • Image and brand building
  • Improved brand awareness through broader coverage
  • Simple monitoring and reporting
  • Ideally suited to remarketing


  • Due to congestion of display advertisements, users sometimes develop a blindness to banners, resulting in them simply hiding most of the advertisements due to information overload
  • Numerous ad blockers are used by users to prevent display of online advertisements
  • Conventional banners often have very low click rates (approx. 0.1%)[3]
  • Clicks on display advertisements on mobile devices are often random
  • Some display advertisements can worsen the user experience and lead to undesired effects
  • Display marketing in certain contexts can have negative effects on the brand

Importance for online marketing[edit]

Display marketing is still one of the strongest markets on the global and German-speaking Internet. The global net sales amount to more than 1.5 billion euros. These are comprised of both online and mobile sectors. For the mobile sector, the growth rate is significantly larger at roughly 52%. Currently, mobile marketing and marketing using moving images have proven to be major growth drivers. Advertisers now have the chance to directly address the younger groups and significantly improve the interaction and acceptance rates using moving pictures. Display marketing in the area of virtual reality can also be expected in the future.


  1. picture ads support. google. com Called on 09/26/2017
  2. IAB Display Advertising Guidelines iab.net. Accessed on 05/11/2015
  3. 10 Horrifying Stats About Display Advertising blog.hubspot.com. Accessed on 05/11/2015