Media Sites Boost Advertiser Credibility

August 17, 2010

Consumers generally have a more positive view of advertisers viewed on media sites than of advertisers viewed on other types of sites, according to a recent study from the Online Publishers Association and Harris Interactive.

Advertisers Deemed Higher Quality on Media Sites
Results from “A Sense of Place: Why Environments Matter” indicate advertisers are deemed to be of higher quality when viewed on media sites compared to portal channels and social media networks.

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Twenty-four percent of respondents agreed or completely agreed that advertisers on media sites were of high quality, compared to 20% on portals and 8% on social networks. In fact, many respondents assumed that sales teams vet advertisers so that only brands with quality products and services are allowed to advertise on that site, although this is often not the case.

Media Site Content Perceived More Relevant
Media sites are perceived to have more relevant content than portals and social media channels, and that relevance translates into a perception that advertised brands are more relevant when viewed on those media sites as well.

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Eighteen percent of respondents agreed or completely agreed that media sites advertise brands that are generally more relevant to them than brands advertised on other types of sites. Comparatively, 14% of respondents feel this way about portal sites and 12% about social media sites.

In this case, the study found that many respondents assumed that brands customize their ads to align with the content it is being presented with, making it more relevant, and of value to the consumer. Again, this is not always the case.

Media Site Advertisers More Likely Seen as Respected
Compared to the other environments studied, media site visitors are more likely to view advertisers as respected brands. Sixteen percent of respondents think media sites advertise brands that are more respected compared to other types of sites, compared to 13% who think this about portal sites and just 5% about social media sites.

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Media Sites Provide Greater Boost to Advertiser Sales
The study concluded that feelings of loyalty, connection, fit and quality were greatest on media sites, and that those positive perceptions led to a higher likelihood to purchase from brands who advertise in a media environment. In fact, media sites were almost twice as likely to result in a purchase as portals, and three to five times as likely to result in a purchase as social networks.

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In Right Context, Internet Users Like Targeted Ads
Internet users are more likely to prefer targeted online ads when they are asked to make real-world, value-for-value trade-offs, such as free access to Internet content, according to a new survey by PreferenceCentral.

Prior research on consumers’ attitudes toward behavioral targeting used simple, single-option questions, leading to, PreferenceCentral said, an incomplete and misleading view of consumers’ real-world perspectives on online advertising. In this survey of 1,050 US internet users, PreferenceCentral asked consumers to state their preferences for tailored online advertising in the context of real-world trade-off scenarios and found that more than half of consumers surveyed indicated that they prefer relevant targeted online ads as a trade-off for access to free content.

About the Data: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between March 11 and April 19, 2010, among 2,910 adults ages 18 and older who use the Internet at least once per week, who visit one or more of the study’s OPA, portal channel or social media sites at least several times a month and who are not employed in a competitive industry such as advertising, market research or the media. These 2,910 adults evaluated 63 sites broken down as 42 OPA sites, 19 portal channel sites and two social media sites.

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