What Is an Online Advertising Report?

C. Mitchell
C. Mitchell
Man holding computer
Man holding computer

An online advertising report is a collection of data that provides information about the profitability, costs, or revenue returned from ads placed on Internet websites. The report can be drawn up for a specific business or industry sector or for all advertisers generally. Companies who engage in online advertising use these reports to hone their ad purchasing practices and to obtain maximum profitability from their online ads.

Online ads are an increasingly popular means of reaching a diverse and ever-changing consumer base. Companies often incorporate at least some Internet advertising into their overall advertising practices, including pop-up ads, search engine keywords, and sponsored links, alongside the more traditional print ads and television commercials. Marketing executives depend on industry reports and statistics of past and projected success, like online advertising reports, to make sound purchasing decisions.

Private marketing firms and ad agencies produce online advertising reports on a regular basis, often quarterly. Reports in this category usually take a broad view of the online ad landscape. They detail the amount of money spent on advertising across the board as well as the average revenues and profits made.

An industry-wide online advertising report will often break the ad landscape down by products and services advertised and provide details about where the majority of ads in each category were placed. Most of these reports are general and are designed to provide advertising benchmarks. Like any industry report, they provide an overview of market strengths and relative weaknesses. This kind of report can be written from the perspective of either online advertising companies or ad purchasers.

Many businesses that engage in online advertising also draft their own reports as a means of evaluating their investment and its return. This kind of online advertising report will usually set out the company’s current online ad holdings, the number of times the ads have been viewed and clicked, and the percentage of online sales that can be attributed to those views and clicks. The reports are a good way for executives to assess whether their strategies are helping to meet their goals.

Without an online advertising report, companies are largely in the dark as far as their online advertising potential is concerned. Even profitable campaigns usually need to be adjusted and tweaked to keep up with consumer trends and developments. The Internet is an incredibly malleable ad environment with great capacity for innovation. To succeed, advertisers must not only be concerned with profits but also with trends.

New forms of Internet media, including social networking and real-time messaging, provide platforms for online branding and promotion. Behavioral tracking and targeted marketing programs also make advertising more effective. An online advertising report can project profits and initial costs for any number of ad schemes. Reading these reports can help marketing executives understand strategies as well as the complexities and possibilities in the market.

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