I often hear “I never click on online ads!” I even hear that from people in marketing. Many people really believe online ads don’t work. Adobe fed this belief a few days ago with their study Adobe: State of Online Advertising October 2012. Here’s p. 4:

47% of marketers say online ads are annoying. Only 10% say it’s persuasive. The document isn’t entirely negative: it’s also pretty funny. On p. 13, 35% of ad people find “ad people are least valuable to society.”

What’s the problem? You ask people for their opinion and they’ll give you one, even if it has nothing to do with reality. Does Big Foot exist? (20% of Americans believe he exists.) UFOs? (36% believe in UFOs.) I’m sure there are people who believe Big Foot has his own flying saucer!

Quite simply: Google’s advertising revenues are $14b (Q3/12), which is $46b/year. That’s a lot of “doesn’t work.” Online advertising is like other people’s kids: people don’t like the ads that don’t interest them. But when it’s in their interest, they’ll click on ads.