Starcom, Tacoda, & Hitwise, released a report on the "Natural Born Clickers" (NBCs). The data points to some head-scratchingly bizarre figures about the people who click on paid display advertisements (emphasis mine):
...heavy clickers represent just 6% of the online population yet account for 50% of all display ad clicks. While many online media companies use click-through rate as an ad negotiation currency, the study shows that heavy clickers are not representative of the general public. In fact, heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000. Heavy clickers behave very differently online than the typical Internet user, and while they spend four times more time online than non-clickers, their spending does not proportionately reflect this very heavy Internet usage. Heavy clickers are also relatively more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites – a markedly different surfing pattern than non-clickers.
If you're worried about the online ad market taking the news badly, don't despair yet. It would appear that there's good news mixed in. Apparently, display ads, much like TV, radio, and print ads, don't demand immediate action to produce results.
...data suggests no correlation between display ad clicks and brand metrics, and show no connection between measured attitude towards a brand and the number of times an ad for that brand was clicked. The research presentation suggests that when digital campaigns have a branding objective, optimizing for high click rates does not necessarily improve campaign performance.
SEM, Search Engine, Marketing, Search Marketing, Advertisement, Online Ads, Campaign, Ad Campaign, NBCs