A survey by Lightspeed Research and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK asked internet users when they believed they were most receptive to online advertising messages, and the best way to get their attention on the web. Focused on the receptivity of the online audience, the results provide advertisers with a detailed insight on how to get the most from their online campaigns by understanding how consumers respond to advertising.
The research shows that consumers believe they are most likely to pay attention to ads from the early evening onwards. While the early evening was the best time of the day for all age groups, for younger audiences there was likely to be a steady increase in their attention to adverts as the day progressed. This was markedly different for older age groups who had peaks between 9-12pm and 2-6pm.
Consumers prefer ads when shopping and researching
Respondents rated how likely they think they are to pay attention to online ads when carrying out a range of activities online. According to respondents, the best time to reach them with ads is during e-commerce activity, whether researching the best deals or shopping online. Retailers may well be able to maximise the opportunities presented to them by this finding, by offering recommendations, special offers and price deals as people search on their site.
With so many people online throughout the day carrying out a myriad of activities, online advertisers can use this research to understand what types of messages are most appropriate at those times when consumers say they are less receptive to ads. For instance, the survey showed that younger respondents prefer entertaining ads – so to grab their attention between 9am and 2pm, advertisers might want to try fun executions with subtler, less intrusive creative.
The survey also showed that people prefer not to be interrupted when they are enjoying an activity that requires their full attention such as watching catch-up TV or movie clips. Armed with this information, online marketers can plan and execute communications that respect the online consumer.
Paying attention to ads
The majority of respondents say they are likely to pay attention to online ads when engaged in a range of activities, from using a search engine, to downloading entertainment files, reading the news, catching up on sports results and playing games online. Social networking in particular has a high level of receptivity – this may be because brands are becoming more involved with them.
Sorcha Proctor, research manager at IAB UK says: “This research highlights the need for marketers fully to appreciate and understand the consumer mindset when planning their online marketing campaigns. Most significantly, the study highlights the need for retail brands to get in front of internet users at every point of the online customer journey and emphasises the need to respect consumers if they want them to engage effectively with their marketing messages.”
David Day, Lightspeed Research chief executive Europe says: “Knowing when surfers are more receptive to advertising messages allows marketers to target their campaigns more closely and get the most from their online advertising budget. With so many different activities being carried out by the online population, knowing when to get your message across can be the difference between success or failure for an online campaign.”