Online Ads: Who Is (And Isn't) Clicking and Why
October 3, 2011 -- Though ad exposure doesn’t always result in user action, recent findings from CrowdScience, a global audience and marketing intelligence consultancy firm for online publishers, showed more than half of Internet users worldwide clicked on some form of online advertising in the past six months.
- Adults aged 55 and older click on online ads more when compared to other age groups: 76% of Internet users ages 55 and over had clicked on an ad, compared to 58% of online consumers ages 15 to 24.
- More than three-quarters of users ages 25 to 54 had taken actions such as performing a search or visiting a company website after viewing an ad compared to 70% of older consumers and 60% of those younger than 25.
- The reasons for not clicking on ads varied by age and gender, but the majority of users cited fear of viruses, followed by lack of ad trust or relevancy, and unwillingness to navigate away from a particular page.
- CrowdScience found that younger users were the least trusting of the generations: nearly 1 in 4 of those ages 25-54 feared getting a computer virus and 1 in 5 said they don't trust online ads in general.
- Both the oldest and youngest user groups were significantly more likely to report online ads going unnoticed. This was especially true for consumers ages 15 to 24, with 28% saying they don't notice ads in particular, "perhaps pointing to a generation somewhat desensitized to the effects of online advertising."
- Both young and old Internet users bridged the generation gap in accepting online ads that they found apply to them -- by 49% of 15-24 year olds and 46% of those 55 and over, are more accepting of online ads when they are relevant, compared to 39% of 25-44 year old and 45% of 45-54 year olds.
- College graduates (71%) are more likely than those with a high school education or less (59%) to have clicked on an ad in the past six months.
- Targeted ads appear to be more effective for males, with more males (30%) accepting of relevant ads as compared with females (22%).
- One in 4 (39%) of those who clicked on an ad did so because the ad made them consider the item, another 39% because they were already considering the item, while 14% found the ad amusing.
- Just 6% of respondents would be willing to pay to use their favorite websites in exchange for eliminating ads.
- Regardless of ad relevance, 24% arbitrarily ignore online ads.
About: CrowdScience's JustAsk! is an ongoing, online survey, conducted via survey technology and uses random sampling of visitors across a network of over 5,500 websites. Findings in this study were gathered from a sample of 989 respondents between July 8th and August 3rd, 2011
Sources: eMarketer, Lack of Trust, Relevancy Keep Consumers from Clicking Ads, October 3, 2011 and CrowdScience, Advertising Attitudes JustAsk! Study: Irrelevant Online Ads Frustrate Everyone, September 21, 2011.