The introduction of consumer radio led to a huge shift in media that is still felt today, free content paid for by advertisers. Ads existed in the days before radio, but print publishers used ads to keep prices. Radios were the first time when content with advertising was completely free to anyone with a radio. Ads remain a necessary evil even today, with ads supporting most of the content seen online. Despite being exposed to a growing number of ads, a recent study found that some consumers feel ads are becoming more relevant to them.
Advertising has changed dramatically from soap ads on radio dramas. As mass media become more specialized, so have the ads shows to consumers. As media transitioned from radio, to broadcast TV, to cable and now the internet, it’s grown increasingly easy to show relevant ads to particular demographic. The result is that younger consumers see ads as becoming more relevant for them.
According to the Ad Campaigns Revisited report, a study of 2,000 consumers conducted by YouGov, one out of five (22%) of Millennials believe the ads they are exposed to are increasing in relevance. The research noted that this percentage decreases with age. Only one in 10 (10%) of survey respondents over 35 years old held the same opinion.
By the time consumers reached their golden years, they may be pretty set in their ways. According to the YouGov study, Indeed, 71 percent of those age 55+ believe they are not affected by advertising compared to just 49 percent for Millennials. Though it’s important to note that just because people say they aren’t affected by ads doesn’t mean it’s true. Whether they realize it or not, ads increase their brand awareness and consumers are more likely to buy a brand they’ve heard of than one they haven’t.
How age affects consumers feeling about ads can also be seen by the number of people who viewed ads negatively. The researchers noted that four in 10 of the survey respondents over the age of 55 believed that nothing will make them respond positively to an ad, while just 15 percent of Millennials made the same claim.
Regardless of the number of people who will ignore ads, it’s important to focus on the number of people who will. If 60 percent of seniors feel there is something an ad can do to make them respond positively, marketers should focus their energy on finding out what that something is. This is a sentiment echoed by Jed Mole of Acxiom, who commissioned the YouGov study.
“Either way,” says Mole, according to media reports. “the lesson is the same for marketers, in that whoever they are targeting they need to craft authentic messages with emotional resonance, and deliver those messages on a consistent, personalized level to consumers across channels and devices.”
A common question asked by business owners is: “Does advertising or marketing work?” The answer is a resounding yes assuming the business model is good and the message resonates with the audience. Finding such a message is always challenging, and this data shows that it becomes harder the older consumers get.
In its own way, this report shows why business owners and marketers should take advantage of the tools provided in internet and social media marketing. Online marketing allows for advanced targeting so it’s easier to get a targeted message seen by a targeted audience.
To illustrate, when an advertiser puts an ad in their local paper, they can’t have the ad only shown on the papers sold to readers age 18-35 who are married. Using anonymous data, PPC ad networks and social media platforms like Facebook can offer that kind of targeting. So rather than make a generic ad that doesn’t appeal anyone, marketers can send tailored ads to very special demographics.
For more information about the importance of advertising for internet marketing, read this article on how advertisers are losing millions on ads that still use Adobe Flash.