Studies Find Relevant Ads Increase Engagement Levels of Consumers

Studies Find Relevant Ads Increase Engagement Levels of Consumers

Online marketing, specifically the use of display ads, is unique from more traditional marketing channels like television and billboards in that online ads can be personalized to individual consumers.

But, is this ability to personalize online ads a necessary part of your company’s marketing strategy? Are behaviorally relevant ads that incorporate a person’s known interests and recent browsing behavior more effective than ads that are simply contextually relevant? Do retailers that employ personally relevant ads see an increase in consumer engagement levels or conversion rates?

Both Google and Yahoo! have commissioned research to answer this very question, and the results indicate that behavioral targeting techniques can play an important role in optimizing marketing campaign results.

For The Power of Relevancy study, Yahoo! teamed with Innerscope Research and observed the emotional and cognitive responses of 60 people, both males and females aged 25 – 49 years, to 12 different ads in a total of 720 different exposure scenarios.

The participants’ biometric responses – heart rate, skin conductance, respiration, kinesthetic differences, and eye tracking – were monitored in order to determine consumers’ non-conscious reactions to different targeting techniques in online display advertising.

The researchers used gaze plots and heat maps to determine that people spend 25% more time fixating on ads that are personally relevant to them when compared against ads that are not personally relevant.

In the second study, Google commissioned a study that used eye-trackers to observe the impact of contextually relevant display ads on 100 executive-level B2B purchasers. When the executives were exposed to relevant ads, their intent to purchase a particular brand was increased by 24%. To further state the point, there was a 12% decrease in purchasing intent for a particular brand when non-relevant ads were shown.

A few days ago, after searching for the best fares from Los Angeles to Houston, I continued browsing the web looking for hotels, checking email, and so forth and so on. Within a few minutes of leaving Kayak’s site, I was served a display ad on the right side of the screen touting low fares from LA to Houston.

I clicked the ad, reviewed my options, and created an email alert to be triggered by lower available fares in the coming weeks.

By personalizing the ad I saw did Kayak actually increase the likelihood that I would return to their site and complete my travel purchase? Does this style of highly-tailored, personally relevant ad messaging elicit a more engaged response from consumers?

The answer is most likely yes, as both of the studies concluded with findings that indicate that behaviorally targeted, relevant ads relate to stronger emotional and cognitive response in consumers. This consumer data is valuable for those retailers who are looking for additional ways to increase engagement levels and ROI with online display advertising.

by Aubrey Beck, Content

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