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The Internet is constantly evolving with new technology and functionality, but banner will continue to have value. One tool however, cannot be only advertising vehicle. A lot of people are loading their sites with animation and music. Many times it takes so long to load, that people simply click away. This is a case where a simple banner might be more effective. Any advertising program cannot stand on merits of only one method.
While banner ads have their place, unless they are on other web sites they won't generate any traffic to your web site. In online arena, ezine advertising continues to be one of strongest methods of reaching large numbers. A coordinated program of web ads and ezine ads is still probably your best bet.
Are banner ads passe'? As far as building traffic, I feel they have passed their prime. Proponents of banner ads however will claim you will get large numbers of hits to your site, and this is true. But hits are not sales and should not be your primary concern.
Everything you do in your advertising program should be geared toward doing business. If you think about it, even with an aggressive banner ad campaign that points people to your web site, other than banner ads which then point them someplace else, what will they see when they get there? Most people today are not willing to place them on their home page as they distract from primary purpose of site.
One of strongest use of banners is to help brand your product, and build your company name identification. While it is true that traffic to your web site is important, when they get there sole purpose at that point should be to close sale. Anything that dilutes that should be avoided.
Bob publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter Visit his Web Site at http://adv-marketing.com/business to subscribe. As a bonus, get 40,000 FREE E-Books from Larry Dotson, when you visit http://www.ldpublishing.com