Heavy Online Media Consumers More Open to Targeted Ads

Heavy digital media users are more likely than the general internet-using population to prefer seeing advertising relevant to their interests, per recent research [download page] from Kantar Media. This greater desire for relevance is likely what’s behind a greater receptiveness on their part to targeted advertising, according to the survey of more than 5,000 internet users.

The survey asked respondents – who hail from Brazil, China, France, the UK and the US (5 of the largest advertising markets) – how often they see ads specifically shown or tailored to them. Almost 8 in 10 respondents overall reported sometimes seeing such ads.

The study then analyzed the viewpoints of that large segment who are away of targeting, asking them several questions about their attitudes to targeted ads.

Notably, there was some apathy towards personalized ads, which fits with results from this study. Only around half or fewer agreed that:

  • They like to see relevant ads based on their web browsing activities (47%);
  • Targeted ads make them more interested in a brand than random ads (51%);
  • They don’t mind seeing targeted ads if those ads help pay for quality web content (51%); and
  • They don’t mind providing data if it leads to more relevant ads (36%).

As for a vote of no confidence? Only 4 in 10 agreed that more advertising should be specifically targeted to them.

There’s a subset of internet users, though, who seemed far less reluctant to accept targeted ads: those most likely to see them. Some 15% of respondents identified as heavy online media users, in that they access online media several times per day. Heavy users made up a slightly greater share (roughly one-sixth) of those aware of targeting, and proved more receptive to it.

To wit, 7 in 10 respondents from this group reported that targeted ads make them more interested in a brand than random ads, and an equal share find these ads more interesting. Not too surprisingly, then, two-thirds like to see relevant ads based on their web browsing activities.

Unlike the general online media-using population, a majority (56%) of this segment of heavy users agree that more advertising should be specifically targeted to them.

Even with these attitudes, though, there’s one interesting area in which heavy users also over-index the average: control. Indeed, 7 in 10 would like more control over the types of advertising they see online. That compares with two-thirds of internet users overall who are aware of targeted ads.