Marketers to Target Online Behavioral Ads to Younger Consumers

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The argument between marketers and regulators with respect to online privacy and behavioral targeting is heating up. But what do consumers think about this topic? Burst Media just published the results of its survey on  behaviorally-targeted web advertising and it gives us a good insight into consumers attitudes.

The survey reveals that consumers are aware of behaviorally-targeted online ads. A great majority (78.2%) say they’ve noticed when an ad appears and is related to something they’ve been looking at. Here are their opinions on this type of advertising:

  • Like these ads: 27.7%
  • Don’t like these ads: 34.2%
  • Have no opinion: 38.1%

In general, younger consumers have a more positive opinion (35.2%) than older consumers (16.7%). The demographic group with the most positive response to this type of advertising is young men, between the ages of 18–34. Nearly half of men in this age group (46.8%) say they like these ads.

For now, men are also far more likely to give up non-personal information to see ads that are more relevant to their interests. Here’s how consumers respond to the question about whether they would be willing to share non-personal information in exchange for more relevant ads:

  • Men 37.3%
  • Women 19.8%

At the same time,  about 33% of consumers are using the like button on social network sites to follow brand names or companies. Again, men are more willing  (46.4%) than women (37.7%) to engage in this activity.  And younger consumers, 42.1%, tend to follow brands and companies online at a higher rate than older consumers (15.8%).

Burst Media analysts caution marketers to remember that the vast majority of web users know they are being ‘watched’. With some form of regulation possibly coming to this media format, marketers are encouraged to develop responsible strategies and target the right message to the right audience at the right time.

[Source: Behavioral Targeting, Privacy and the Impact on Online Advertising. BurstMedia​.com. December 2010. Web. 21 Dec. 2010]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.