Advertisers need to think mobile first – IAB UK
Is online research compromising quality? – Mediatel
Why online ads fail to engage – Brand Republic
Advertisers failing to engage audiences online – Figaro Digital
Give users control of ads and they’ll respond – NMA
London, 23rd August: According to research conducted by digital media research agency, Connect Insight, only 17% of internet users define online advertising as impactful and appealing. In a list of associated attributes, more internet users define online advertising as intrusive, repetitive, unappealing and cheap.
This comes as no surprise to most of us in the marketing industry, but is a reminder that there is no room for complacency when targeting consumers in the digital age. Brands are embracing digital marketing in increasing numbers with increasing amounts of spend. Consumers are spending more and more time engaging with digital media, and online advertising has an important role to play in reaching them.
However, consumers want advertisers to do more to appeal to them. They understand the trade off between availability of content and tolerating advertising. There is, however a far more fragile trade off when dealing with a medium that is uniquely personal and engaging.
Part of the solution is to really understand your target audience and their digital lives. 16-34s for example are 24% more likely to think that online advertising is impactful and appealing and 44% more likely to think it is relevant.
We have obviously come a long way in improving online advertising. Perhaps a younger audience does not have the same negative associations having not experienced the highly intrusive formats such as pop ups that were used in the earlier days of the internet. But younger audiences are also targeted with more creativity than older users and are easier to find online.
50% of 55+ internet users actively avoid environments where advertising interrupts their usage of a site. They are more sensitive about advertising so the need for careful targeting is obvious. As consumers outgrow the youth market, and lifestyles and life stage begin to change, so do their digital identities, making targeting a challenge for online advertisers.
Faye Weeks, Director of Connect Insight says, “These headline figures only tell part of the story. The internet is a highly fragmented environment that users personalize based on their own needs and interests. It illustrates the need for advertisers to understand their target audience, their online behaviour, mindset and attitude to advertising in order to deliver impactful online communications.
Connect Insight has conducted research for clients that shows how attitudes in different environments affect appeal of various advertising formats and creative approaches. The fact that there are still so many negative associations with online advertising shows that advertisers have more learning to do about their target audiences online.”
So how does this relate to social media, digital media’s current big thing? If you listen to industry chatter you can understand why advertisers are concerned about the role social media plays in their marketing strategies. But Connect Insight’s research indicates that high investment in a social media strategy may not be right for all advertisers.
Just under half of consumers said they wouldn’t follow any products or brands on a social media site, rising to almost two-thirds for over 55s. When given a list of product and brand categories, the most popular that social media users said they would follow was entertainment: film and music. The least appealing categories to follow were motoring, electrical, household, financial and pharmaceutical brands – a massive tranche of advertising spend.
For younger social media users, the acceptability of brands using the social media space is much higher. They are more likely to cite more categories overall. So if you are a brand from the right category targeting younger consumers, then social media is a good addition to your communications plan.
Weeks concludes "Advertisers need to give more thought to shaping social media strategies but only when they know enough about their target audience’s digital behaviour, and attitudes. There is more to social media marketing then hosting a Facebook page, but do the research before you invest in social media. Advertisers' strategies need to relate to the degree of appeal and likely engagement of your target audience."
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