The future advertising viability of online portals lies in their development as brand building venues, with sponsorship and co-branded projects set to replace banner ads and direct marketing, according to consultancy Booz-Allen & Hamilton.

The report, released last week, found that consumers tend to treat media networks as destinations rather than as stepping stones to other sites – 60 % of surfing sessions involve a visit to a portal, while users spend on average three times as long at such sites as they do at etailers or entertainment addresses.

Explained Horacio Rozanski, a Booz-Allen vp who co-authored the report: “Marketers must start thinking of portals in the same way they think of mass-circulation magazines and television networks – as major centres of commerce and content that draw huge audiences.”

Advertisers should also view portals as potential sponsorship partners, placing the brand name and image on suitable parts of the site, or even creating new sections to fit in with the brand’s message.

Portals should, the report urges, charge advertisers according to the number of impressions they deliver, as opposed to the current payment systems used by many networks which still rely on click-through rates.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)