Businesses looking to enhance their position with consumers should consider personalized ads as a means of improving how they are perceived, according to recent research from IPG Media Lab and Yahoo. The study, which surveyed over 5,000 internet users aged 16 and older, found that when marketers engaged their audiences with personalized ads across multiple channels, the impression shoppers had of their brand improved.

Among the different channels, location-based ads had the greatest impact, with 55 percent saying these ads created favorable impressions.

Personalized ads created a positive brand view in the minds of respondents in other categories as well, including social media sites and search terms (51 percent each) and past purchase history (50 percent). This is in marked contrast to the control category of non-personalized standard ads in which only 46 percent said they created a favorable impression.

And, while making a favorable impression is important, unless it converts to sales, such statistics are of limited value. Personalized ads on social media sites had the biggest return in this area, with almost half (49 percent) saying that these ads influenced their purchases. Internet searches turned over 42 percent of the time, and location-based ads had a 41 percent return. Past purchases delivered 39 percent of the time, while non-personalized ads were deemed effective in influencing intent-to-buy decisions only about a third of the time.

This corroborates an earlier study in which the e-tailing group MyBuys found that 52 percent of online shoppers were likely to purchase a brand when internet searches returned ads for products in which they were interested. In addition, almost half of those polled in this study said they made more purchases from retailers who targeted them with personalized promotions and offers based on the websites they visited.


eMarketer. “Personalized Ads Lift Brand Favorability, Purchase Intent,” April 16, 2015.