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Most Digital Shoppers See Well-Targeted Ads

Three in five also see retargeting as useful

November 24, 2015

Targeting often gets a bad rap among digital audiences, who frequently complain it is “creepy” or invasive. But US digital shoppers appear to find at least some targeting helpful, according to June 2015 research.

US Digital Shoppers Who Believe that Digital Ads Are Properly Targeted to Their Interests, by Demographic, June 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

The research from Adadyn, conducted by Morar Consulting, found that more than three in five US digital shoppers (62%) believe digital ads are generally well targeted to their interests. Younger respondents tended to be more likely to agree with that than their older counterparts, but even among respondents ages 55 and older, half said digital ads were properly targeted for them.

Specific types of targeting may be even more useful: 68% of those surveyed said that geotargeted mobile ads were useful, for example. Among respondents ages 18 to 24, the share rose to 77%.

The success of retargeting more closely mirrors respondents’ overall attitude toward how well ads are targeted.

US Digital Shoppers Who Believe Receiving Ads for Sites They Recently Visited Is Useful for Completing Purchases, by Demographic, June 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

The survey found that 61% of digital shoppers thought ads for sites they had recently visited—that is, retargeted ads—were helpful for completing purchases. Broken down by age, the pattern was similar to the overall targeting question as well, with 25- to 34-year-olds most likely to have a positive response.

Geotargeting may also be more beneficial because respondents reported being more open to advertisements from local businesses. That could include mobile as well as other digital ads; overall, 71% of digital shoppers said they were more likely to respond to ads from local businesses than to ones run by national chains.

Properly targeted ads mean relevant ads, and relevance is a key factor in getting consumers to respond. Undertone found in July 2015 that 40% of US internet users said personal relevance motivated them to respond to ads. And more than two-thirds of US internet users who clicked on Rising Star ads did so because they were relevant to them. On the flip side, 39% of US millennial mobile device users surveyed by Retale in September 2015 said they did not respond to push notification because they weren’t relevant enough.

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