Compared to general ads, many consumers find personalized ads to be more engaging (54%), educational (52%), time-saving (49%) and memorable (45%), according to a Yahoo survey of 6,000 respondents aged 13-64. The study also found personalized ads to outperform those that aren’t personalized across a series of measures, with respondents also generally perceiving them to be relevant than non-personalized ads.
Personalized ads’ greater perceived relevance is important given a growing body of research indicating that consumers develop unfavorable attitudes in response to poorly targeted or irrelevant marketing messages. In fact, the Yahoo research found that few consumers find ads to be relevant: just 37% indicated that most of the ads they see while browsing the internet on their PC/laptop are relevant to them, and even fewer concurred with respect to the ads they see while browsing the internet on their smartphones (30%) or while in apps on their phones (27%).
Personalization carries with it questions of privacy, but roughly two-thirds of respondents said they either find it acceptable or are neutral about publishers gather the following types of information for advertising:
- Specific content they’ve looked at;
- Time spent;
- Search words;
- Ads they’ve clicked on; and
- Products they’ve browsed.
The degree to which consumers welcomed advertising personalization varied by category, with 77% desiring personalized retail ads, but only about one-third feeling the same way for car or entertainment options.
Such discrepancies were also true for content personalization: while 60% felt that personalization technology would improve entertainment content, only 41% felt that way about finance content. Nevertheless, some 78% of respondents desire some type of content personalization.
About the Data: Yahoo partnered with Ipsos MediaCT to survey 6,000 respondents ages 13-64, a representative sample of the US online population, about online content and ad personalization.