Consumers Still Prefer Traditional Over Digital Ads

Fri May 12, 2017

Kathy Crosett

Long ago, consumers accepted advertising as a fact of life. These days, consumers spend more of their media time newspaperswith online formats, but they prefer traditional advertising. So how can media sales reps explain this situation to clients? Let’s take a look at a few details.

In a recently published Kantar Media study, Communication Planning in a Disrupted World, consumers say the following ad formats are likeable and enjoyable:

  • Cinema 37%
  • Magazine 33%
  • TV 33%
  • Billboards 31%
  • Newspapers 28%
  • Radio 24%

The data also revealed that no digital ad format garnered more than 27% of the audience saying they liked or enjoyed what they saw. Analysts suspect some of the lower satisfaction rates for online ads stems from lack of control over the environment.  The following factors appear to be most bothersome for consumers who encounter online ads:

  • Seeing ads for products they already bought 55%
  • Want control over types of online ads shown to them 66%
  • See the same ad over and over 71%

While marketers want to be in the spaces where consumers are spending their media time, they also fear that objection to online ads, especially in the mobile environment, will lead to the use of ad blockers. Twenty-seven percent of U.S. respondents in this study always use blockers and 31% sometimes do.

One way to cover all the bases is to run ads in multiple media formats. The Kantar Media study addressed this topic, too, and asked consumers if they notice this effort. The responses break out as follows:

  • All the time 14%
  • Often 22%
  • Sometimes 42%
  • Never 7%
  • Don’t know 16%

The most important detail about the use of multiple media formats may be the impact this strategy has on consumer behavior. Twenty-one percent of U.S. adults say they notice a brand’s ads more if they see them in multiple formats and 16% say they better understand the brand as a result of seeing the ad, for example, on both TV and in a print newspaper. In addition, of those who notice these ads, 45% are more likely to seek information online about the brand.

While consumers continue to gravitate to online media, 57% say TV ads offer the best contextual fit. In comparison, only 20% say the same about ads they see on websites. Kantar Media analysts conclude that as online advertising becomes more “personally relevant” to consumers, attitudes about digital marketer messages may improve. For now, media sales reps should work with clients to help them develop effective cross-channel communications with an emphasis on traditional media format mixes.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett
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