Good online advertising relies on positioning

Good online advertising relies on positioning

Recently commissioned research from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has shown that when it comes to online advertising effectiveness, context is king.

The study, which compared users and non-users of 20 leading branded websites, has confirmed the existence of an ‘online elite’ - the most elusive and attractive audience on the net in terms of demographics and behaviour.

The online elite tended to have strong and positive relationships with quality content sites, built on trust in the brands, relevance of the advertising and high satisfaction with the site.

With the ‘online elite’, the Internet is critical for decision-making:

• 88% say they often refer to the Internet before buying something (compared with 70% of users that do not use quality content sites: ‘non-users’)

• 85% say that when they need information, the Internet is their first port of call (compared with 71% of ‘non-users’)

• 77% say they have researched a brand they have seen advertised online (compared with 52% of ‘non-users’).

And, contrary to the widely held perception that consumers find online advertising intrusive and irritating, the online elite actually proved very responsive to advertising.

Eighty percent admitted to having clicked on an online advertisement to find out more and sixty-seven percent admitted to having performed three or more actions (such as book-marking a site, purchasing a product, requesting further information) as a direct result of seeing online advertising.

These users responded even more favourably to ads they viewed on sites that they trusted and which they felt were of relevance to them.

Sixty-four percent said they prefered to see online advertising that related to the content they wanted to view.

Whilst fifty-three percent said they paid more attention to advertising on websites that they trusted.

This study marks an important step away from the questions of “how many?” to “why?”

With the online industry generating approximately £300m in ad revenue in 2003 - that's over two percent of all total UK ad spend - the Internet is starting to mature as a medium to use in cross-media campaigns.

Unfortunately, due to its fast growth, understanding of the medium hasn't caught up and there needs to be greater understanding of the different types of online audience, the value of different advertising environments, and the relationship between advertising environment and reaction to advertising.

This report by AOP establishes a context in which online advertisers can connect with a valuable online audience and helps them to understand how they can build their brands through quality content sites.

Sources: Association of Online Publishers, BMRB Internet Monitor, IAB, New Media Age

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