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Great advertising is about getting the right message to the right person at the right time and in the right place, but a recent study from Kantar Media shows that consumer perception of a channel is also important.  Advertisers need to strive to strike a balance between reach, messaging, targeting as well as consumer trust and sentiment when choosing their channel mix.

We all know that everyone is online so online advertising is the best place to advertise, right? While online is extremely targetable, has great reach and is a generally efficient channel, making it incredibly attractive to marketers, its consumer sentiment is suffering from these “strengths”.  Online ad formats in general are considered by consumers to be intrusive, repetitive, and sometimes overly targeted, leading to consumer wariness of brands advertising in online channels. So, the very things that marketers love, may be leading to negative consumer feelings. 

Marketers should be cognizant of more than just reach and ROI when choosing their online and offline channels, they also must consider consumers perception of their brands chosen channels and advertising environments.

This is not to say that marketers should cease all online advertising and move back into traditional tactics, which generally have a higher consumer trust. A balance must be created as some channels and tactics perform better than others in different areas on consumer sentiment.  Tactics and channels that are less cluttered, like podcasts, have content and advertising that is regarded as having a better quality, like television, and placements that are more innovative and blend more cohesively and less disruptively with the surrounding content, like TikTok, tend to be seen in a more positive light.

These are some areas that may be overlooked when selecting advertising channels/tactics:

Frequency and Over-Targeting

You’ve probably experienced this; you’re watching a streaming program or YouTube and during each break you see the same ad sometimes even during the same ad break.  While frequency in general breeds familiarity it can also lead to a negative consumer feeling about the brand and at a certain point leads to decreasing effectiveness.  Over saturation is generally not an issue with traditional offline channels like print and OOH but can be seen in TV and radio activity with larger spends.  Frequency can often become an issue with cost efficient online channels particularly when the target audience is fairly narrow. 

Messaging and Disruption

Making sure your advertising messaging is both appropriate for the channel as well as limiting distribution of the consumers experience on each platform is often a time-consuming project.  While it’s certainly easier and more cost effective to utilize the same messaging and assets across all channels, a fun and entertaining message may work in a placement like TikTok but not as well as a spot within a video on a news channel.  Disruption of consumer utilization of a platform may also affect the consumers view of a brand. While a consumer seeing a newsfeed ad on Facebook may just scroll by and only see the messaging for a split second, innovative placements on TikTok like Branded Hashtag Challenges integrate brands within a format that gives the consumer the feel of still being within the platform’s organic content and encourage engagement. 

Quality and Value

Obviously, providing the consumer with valuable and or entertaining messaging to keep them paying attention to their advertisements generally falls on the brands and marketers, but general consumer perceived value and quality of a channel also comes into play.  Consumers won’t keep coming back to a channel that doesn’t provide them a relevant and or useful environment.  A channel’s quality and value perception can also be impacted by excessive monetization of its property for advertising purposes and providing advertising placements that alienate the user.