Digital still lagging behind traditional advertising

12th Jun 2013

Today’s digital customers may be glued to their smartphones but new research has revealed that the majority still prefer to view advertising in traditional formats.

Adobe’s survey of over 3,000 adults across the UK, France and Germany showed that 70% of UK consumers believe TV ads are still more important than online ads, with the majority of those surveyed claiming these were ‘annoying’ (62%). 

Additionally, the survey showed that just 8% thought that online adveradtisements were persuasive and only UK consumers ranked website ads in their top three, with France and Germany preferring billboards and window displays.

Mark Phibbs, VP of marketing for EMEA at Adobe, said: “It’s not wholly surprising that online and digital isn’t resonating to the same degree – not only is it is still relatively in its infancy as an advertising channel, but the digital landscape and the corresponding opportunities for brands are constantly changing.”

So now we know what format consumes prefer to receive their advertising, what type of content is most engaging? According to the survey, over two thirds of UK consumers believe ads should tell a unique story, rather than just trying to sell them products with the most memorable TV ads cited as John Lewis and Guinness.

Humour was also found to be effective (92%) and 42% also agreed that professionally created advertisements were most appealing, the figures showed.

And whilst the research showed that consumers are still reluctant to engage with social media advertising, there are other ways in which companies can leverage social for customer engagement. Nearly half (44%) of UK social media users said that they have liked something on behalf of a brand whilst 49% also regularly ‘like’ brands that they buy from on social channels.

Phibbs added: “Our research is an important wake up call to brands. For marketing and advertising, digital is a new world and calls for new ways to attract customers. 

“In reality, both brands and consumers are still getting used to the fact that, while physical advertising has traditionally been about broadcasting messages, online now affords the opportunity to engage with customers directly. The brands that harness this possibility will ultimately win in the digital world”. 

So whilst marketers may be ploughing investment into digital with UK ad spend recently reported to have hit the £17bn barrier for the first time since 2007, traditional advertising formats are still important.

Steve Mills recently wrote that in a modern world, where social media and e-marketing are used so prolifically, newspaper and magazine advertising is still an excellent way to promote your business and outlined ten tips to help you create a compelling ad. 


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