Internet Users Want a More Personalized Ad Experience (Report)

Marketers need to learn to watch and listen more to what users are doing, rather than simply serving them more ads.

Getting content to users is becoming more difficult. Social media users, millennials in particular, are opting out of advertising entirely, and they’re skeptical of marketing content in general. A report from interactive video platform Rapt Media analyzes current trends and offers advice for moving forward.

95 percent of users surveyed said they take actions to avoid seeing or receiving ads. Some just block ads, while others avoid signing up to email lists or disable cookies that can track their browsing activity. 67 percent said they use blockers because brands are sending too much marketing material, 55 percent say the content isn’t tailored to them or isn’t interesting, 46 percent describe ads as too pushy and 42 percent simply don’t trust marketing messages.

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However, millennials are interested in certain types of content, particularly when they discover it themselves. 62 percent of respondents said that content they discover on their own is personalized to their interests. When users find content on their own and are able to interact with it in any way they want, they can become very engaged. 60 percent of users who were able to spend more time interacting with their chosen content are more likely to make a purchase.

Personalization is one way to draw audiences back into content they wouldn’t view otherwise. 33 percent said they would spend more time with content if they could customize it to their interests, and 48 percent said they would spend more time if they could control it by clicking through it themselves.

In fact, this approach could lead to 62 percent more users seeking out more information about the brand, and 53 percent would be more likely to remember the brand as a result. According to Forrester Research analyst Jim Nail, this creates a “gratitude effect,” wherein users form a relationship with a brand because that brand is able to deliver the experience they want and makes the effort to tailor content to their individual experiences.

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Marketing strategy is somewhat still stuck in the past, offering large-scale campaigns that reach the target audience occasionally but alienate other users in the process. Marketers have so much data available to them, so they should be better are serving audiences the content they desire. It seems that in the current climate, marketers need to learn to watch and listen more to what users are doing, rather than simply serving them more ads.

To see all reports in Rapt Media’s The Future of Content series, sign up here.

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