An article by eMarketer spread word on a new study saying people don’t want targeted ads. Earlier studies say differently. How conductors educate the participants within and around questions is just as important as the actual question itself. Context can easily change meaning. Even the order of questions affects respondent perception and subsequent answers. Issues in this conclusion (i.e. data security and customization) need to be approached separately at first and combined down the questionnaire so that customers prioritize their opinion aptly and fears controlled.
My opinion remains unchanged. Customers dislike loosing control of their personal information, yet appreciate customization services. If we communicate our responsibility to protect their information, they will appreciate the benefits we serve and their purchases and activity will speak that message. Continue reading “Behavioral Ad Targeting Debate”
comScore released on Monday results of a study they and Yahoo! conducted of 5 major online retailers with offline store presence.
People exposed to both search and display advertising spent 41% more in stores than those who saw neither ad.
People exposed only to search advertising spent 26% more in stores than those who saw neither ad.
People exposed only to display ads spent 11% more in stores than those who saw neither ad.
89% of consumers shop for information about products online.
Less than 7% of all sales happen online.
Almost 90 percent of the incremental sales generated by online advertising take place in-store.
For every dollar spent online resulting from an advertising campaign, five more were spent by the same group of people in the store.
Why This May Not Directly Relate to You:
The study watched activities and sales of five major retailers. The announcement didn’t mention them by name, but the types were three national department stores, a major apparel retailer, and an office products supplier.
Due to the type of companies, the information may not directly apply to you. The companies in the survey probably have a strong Internet presence. They also can afford to put on large advertising campaigns and provided excellent and clear landing pages and cross-promotions on their own sites. The study also focused on consumers who were spending a bit of time researching products they were thinking of buying.
When putting together an advertising campaign, information on your products needs to be full, complete, and consistent from the ad to the point where the buy process begins. Those elements plus the ability for customers to pickup the product at a location nearby will help produce the results described in the article. Therefore, it’s not just placing the ad that makes a difference, but everything else in-between.
But what if you don’t have retail stores and you only produce the products other retail stores sell? Focus on providing all the right information on the products and then display the retailers near them that sell the product. Although you may also offer an online buying option, you can be confident that significantly more people will choose an offline option than who buy from you.
Click-throughs are just as important as they always have been. Therefore, this study doesn’t replace the need for targeted advertising. This simply shows that our advertising programs may be significantly more successful if we can make it easy for people to find an offline location near them to pick it up.
A study by Atlas Institute found that conversions increase as impressions when advertised across sites (see chart below). I’m not sure about you, but I think that information is common sense already. But what’s different in this study is that the percentage of conversions increase as the number of impressions increase. Instead of the percentage of responders staying relatively consistent no matter where the ad is placed, the overall portion of respondents grows with each ad placement (generally speaking, of course).
The study goes on to indicate that 9 out of 10 people in the study who eventually made a buying decision were reached by the ad in at least one other location (see chart below). We know that repetition is important in advertising. This article helps us know how much our repetitive advertising helps us.
One important note to make is that repetition is not best in all advertising applications. Plus, we should not simply advertise in various locations, but targeted locations where the same consumer visits. That requires a better knowledge of who is coming to our sites and where they shop.
Although, that could be a topic unto itself, I wanted to give you a couple recommendations if you’re interested in learning more. Hitwise is a company that provides this data most accurately. But it comes at a steep price. There are some web analytic tools you can buy for your site that attempt to find out this information as well. Both WebTrends and Omniture provide this information if integrated appropriately. They can also be pricy, but if buying the WebTrends software (not the company’s hosted solution) the use of the software can be depreciated over time. However, the best reliable option I quickly found for almost any size business is Google’s latest Google Analytics package. It’s totally free unlike the others, but Google then gains knowledge of your site’s performance and visitor behavior. Typically, that won’t be a problem. However, it’s certainly important to note.
The study is summarized pretty well by eMarketer. You can view this article until around July 4.