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Why Are Online Ads Not More Relevant?
Catherine Kolodij, SVP, Brand Planning & Strategy
April 26, 2012
Recently, we learned from the Nielson Global Trust in Advertising Survey that people trust earned media above all other media. Okay, so this is nothing new. What is distressing is how far apart trust in earned is from other forms of media, particularly online media. Where 92% of people trust earned media, a mere 33% trust online ads. While this marks an improvement, marketers are going to have to address the trust issue as more media dollars go toward digital programs.
Part of the problem is a significant amount of people find online ads irrelevant. In fact, 2 out of 3 people said that most online ads are irrelevant. In a digital world that enables brands to refine segmentation and targeting, online ads should be at least more relevant than TV; but 1 in 2 people find TV to be relevant. So what is going on?
In a digital world, where we can track every dollar spent, most marketers have focused on acquisition-based messaging. These tend to perform better, particularly when measurement programs incorporate total customer value calculations into their ROI models. The problem is, by definition, these messages are only targeting people who are in the market for a product or service; and the creative attempts to engage people in shopping conversations, essentially excluding all other from being involved in the conversation.
Earned media, on the other hand, encourages conversations. And marketers are embracing conversations at more points in the funnel. No wonder trust and relevance is so much higher.
The key to success in future digital programs will be to bring the tried-and-true tactics of acquisition marketing into the social sphere. And socialize traditional acquisition programs.
More on the Nielson study can be found here.