A comprehensive analysis of 183 billion website visits, 12 billion video views, 150 billion emails, and 1,000 consumers says that most marketers think their ads are relevant.
Most consumers completely disagree.
Adobe just released its 2018 State of Digital Advertising, based on a massive amount of data captured by the Adobe Experience Cloud. One of the insights is that while 74% of marketers think they are driving relevant ideas to potential prospects, very few of the people who see them agree.
TV is now a digital channel
Connected TV website visits are up 40% since 2016
OTT is hot
On-demand streaming and “TV Everywhere” is up 114% over the past two years
Mobile is how retail wins
Growing retailers had 48% more visits from smartphones compared to 2016; shrinking retailers are flat
Social media wins new customers
Non-customers are 3X more likely to visit retailers from social media than customers
Search and email are still critical channels
69% of retail web visits are direct or search-generated for non-customers; 20% are email-generated for existing customers
Push messaging on mobile is the killer retail app
Push notifications are up 300% over the past nine months
Relevancy continues to be a challenge
“Only 8% of people think the ads they see online are always relevant,” Adobe says. “And only 27% of people think the ads they see online are at least often relevant.”
People tune out when messages are irrelevant, but that’s not the only problem.
Even relevant content is having a hard time breaking through the clutter of our busy digital lives, Adobe says. More than half of people think online ads are easy to ignore, whether they are relevant or not, and ad blockers, which block some of the more annoying ads but, in many cases, allow better-quality ads through, do not change the numbers.
Relevance is something that is defined by customers, Adobe says. Most millennials and Gen-Z think that social media ads are the most relevant; most Gen Xers and Baby Boomers think that TV ads are the most relevant.
TV is now a digital device
Believe it or not, people are increasingly using their smart TVs and set-top boxes to access websites.
After an initial spurt in early 2017, growth hit in Q2 and accelerated in the last quarter of the year, hitting almost 40% more than late 2016.
In addition, over-the-top or OTT video viewing is also growing rapidly, and redefining what TV actually means. And it doesn’t mean watching live or scheduled programming, for some segments of the population.
“Nearly two-thirds (60%) of Gen Z consider ‘watching TV’ as using a streaming service (such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime),” says Adobe.
Mobile is increasingly the screen that matters most
While desktop visits are down, and tablet visits continue to decrease, smartphone visits to retailers’ sites are growing … up 21% in the U.S. across all verticals since 2016, Adobe says. Interestingly, mobile is also where ads are most relevant, according to consumer perception.
The biggest deal, however, is that mobile is now the key defining characteristic of a successful brand.
“Growing retailers had 48% more visits from smartphones in January 2018 compared to January 2016, while shrinking retailers smartphone visits are nearly flat for the last two years,” says Adobe.
(That’s exactly what I found a year ago in an extensive study of the Fortune 1000 by their mobile penetration.)
Mobile is also the only platform where video completion rates have stayed high.
In spite of the fact that advertising video views on mobile almost doubled from last year, completion rates remained high: 66%. Desktop video views dropped 20% in the same time frame, and saw completion rates tail off. And while smart TV video views jumped, completion rates also tailed off.
Social is a very, very important channel for new customer acquisition
Social media, whether consumed on desktop, mobile, or smart TV, is an incredibly important customer acquisition platform, according to Adobe’s data.
And it’s almost counter-intuitive:
“Non-customers are three times more likely to visit retailers from social media than customers,” Adobe says. “Younger generations’ preference for social media as a relevant channel means this number is going to continue to increase.”
While you’d think customers who are familiar with a brand would react well to its ads, clearly non-customers are more eager to click on and interact with retailers’ ads. That’s important insight for marketers.
The full report will likely be available soon at Adobe’s website.
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