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Survey Says: Advertisers Are Becoming Better Communicators

Well here’s some good news. A significant majority (73%) of consumers across 5 “connected” countries think advertisers are doing a better job communicating with them today than in the past, and a similar percentage (71%) think advertising is either changing for the better or staying the same. These findings from Kantar Media’s second Dimension study, which surveyed 5,000 consumers and advertising leaders in the U.S., U.K., China, Brazil and France on the state of the media business, suggest that marketers are navigating a fragmented and noisy landscape with increasing aplomb. That 40% of respondents report seeing a growing number of relevant ads—in an environment where consumers are encountering between 4,000 and 10,000 marketing messages per day—speaks volumes to the creative content and tech-enabled strategies marketers are employing to successfully engage their audiences.

But while some back-patting is in order for these stats, it’s also worth noting that there’s still much hard work to be done. More than 70% of respondents reported seeing the same ads over and over. 56% said they often see online ads for items they’ve already purchased, and 63% would like more control over the types of ads they see online. Here are a few takeaways from the survey results that advertisers can focus on to ensure they remain in good communications standing.

True Personalization
As reported in Marketing Dive, delivering personalized and relevant content is especially essential for marketers striving to reach millennial and Gen Z consumers. These age groups are more receptive to ads generally, according to Kantar, but have higher expectations for the kinds of content they engage with. Younger consumers expect brands to help them achieve their goals and to listen and respond to their needs. While technology enables hyper targeting and one-to-one personalization, it also hampers advertisers’ efforts. Especially when it comes to data.

Help with Data Dumps
Data is a double-edged sword. While technology has enabled an unprecedented ability to collect the details that fuel personalized advertising, many advertisers are struggling with how to parse through and utilize it all. Marketers told Kantar “I have more data than I’ve ever had, and I’m more confused than I’ve ever been.” And, “We’re in a mad rush to collect maximum data and we’ve got to a point of not really knowing what to do with it. We perhaps need less data but to utilize it better, and these days the problem and challenge is how to use it.” The consensus on addressing this issue is arriving at common standards that would help make data sets easier to access and connect to and more consistent. Getting to some commonality with data parsing will help, Kantar believes, in mitigating ad blocking, a most pressing issue for advertisers.

Content Cures All Ills
The study notes that ad blocking remains a challenge—1 in 5 respondents say they block ads all the time and 33% “sometimes” block. The primary reason cited is poor content. Ads that are relevant to a consumer’s specific need are important for earning initial interest, but relevance alone is not enough to sustain it. For that, advertisers need to be sure they are developing the creative that both informs and entertains. Content may be king, but compelling creative truly rules. 

Most advertisers know these are the sticking points and deserve kudos for taking the steps that are making consumers take a more favorable view toward advertising messages. But as tech enables more opportunities for engagement, advertisers need to be thinking more strategically about how to capitalize on them. Studies like these can help.