New research conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has revealed that Irish internet users are eight times more likely to pay attention to advertising on Irish premium content digital sites than similar advertising on international sites.
The results highlight that the current fragmented approach of online advertising purchasing, whereby ads are often bought using networks in order to guarantee a high level of exposure, does not provide the best return on investment as Irish internet users overlook Irish ads on international sites as they do not believe that they are targeted at them.
According to the AOP, the results highlight that the current fragmented approach of online advertising purchasing, whereby ads are often bought using networks in order to guarantee a high level of exposure. According to the AOP this does not provide the best return on investment as Irish internet users overlook Irish ads on international sites as they do not believe that they are targeted at them.
The research also found that 78% of Irish internet users recognise that ads on Irish premium content sites are relevant to them in contrast to only 11% who think that ads on international sites are aimed at them, despite geo targeting. This underlines the trust and loyalty that Irish internet users place in Irish premium content sites and how that influences the effectiveness of the advertising displayed on those digital properties.
Irish internet users also have a higher level of recall of ads displayed on AOP Ireland sites. When shown a series of ads on AOP Ireland and international sites, 72% of survey participants recalled at least one of the ads appearing on the Irish sites compared to 52% who recalled the ads on the international sites.
The AOP represents Irish websites like IrishTimes.com, TV3.ie, Entertainment.ie, Independent.ie, RTE.ie and TheJournal.ie.
The study highlights the threat for marketing managers that there is a risk of undermining the impact of advertising campaigns as Irish internet users simply overlook ads due to the international nature of the sites they appear on. The same ad creative which appears in other environments could also be discounted by viewers as they have previously ignored the same ad.
According to the research, the key reason why Irish internet users have a higher level of recall and believe advertising is more relevant on AOP Ireland sites is because of the environment and context they appear in. Despite being unprompted, when asked why they believed that ads on Irish premium content sites were of more relevance to them, the first reason 35% of all survey participants responded with was that the Irish origin of the site meant that they understood that the ads were aimed at them.
In contrast, the same people disregarded ads on sites like DailyMail.co.uk, Gawker.com and Guardian.co.uk as they implicitly understand that these sites are of an international nature and as such did not think that any advertising would be aimed at them, despite the use of geo targeting by ad networks.
Commenting on the research, Brian Fallon, CEO of Journal.ie and AOP Ireland spokesperson, said: “This new research highlights the effectiveness of advertising on Irish premium content sites as our audiences find advertising on our properties more relevant and are more likely to respond to ads as a result. This is a result of the level of investment we have made in developing our brands in terms of the content which engages visitors and advertising solutions we offer brands.”
“Ultimately what this research is showing is that Irish internet users make a clear distinction when they are visiting specific sites about whether the advertising is relevant at all and these results clearly show they believe ads on international sites are superfluous. The issue that marketing managers need to be aware of is that there is a risk of creating confusion among target audiences if their brand appears out of context. Taking out advertising via ad networks might tick the box in terms of ensuring that a campaign has a high level of visibility, but what’s the point if their target audience is not paying attention?”
Elaine Sloan, Director of Behaviour & Attitudes adds: “There were two surprises for me in this survey. The first is that the results of the survey were so conclusive. I had expected some differences to surface but not to the level that they did. The second is that despite geo targeting, this did not seem to have much impact on how people interpreted the relevancy of the ads they saw. Internet users do not seem to take this into consideration at the point of contact.”
Earlier this year AOP Ireland announced that its members plan to spend in excess of €2 million on developing its digital properties this year. This investment has been warranted by the phenomenal growth in terms of online traffic across AOP Ireland member’s digital properties, as well as an increase in the level of online advertising on Irish premium content sites.
To view the findings of the research have a look at the presentation below.