As a former magazine publisher who was heavily involved in developing online marketing opportunities for clients, I am skeptical of the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo’s $120,000 in Web banner advertising with expedia.com. While this is certainly a relatively low-cost marketing program, I question its effectiveness.
The actual experience I have had with banner advertising is that such ads simply do not work. And keep in mind that, as the publisher, it was very important to me and my company that our clients’ advertising be effective. Banner ads are not effective. Very, very few people actually click on a banner ad. Very few people actually even see the ads, as they are looking for something else on the site.
Unless Costa Rica is receiving something else for its money, such as lead-generation online products like webinars, this is not money wisely invested. And given my experience, I question how the country knows it generated 15,000 tourists from the last campaign. Is that the number of page impressions the ads received? I know that my company was never able to tell our clients such results because there was no way to know such results.