While some digital audiences (consumers) may not always like ad targeting, describing the practice as “creepy” or intrusive, according to eMarketer.com, today’s United States consumer admits to finding some targeting of help, according to June 2015 research.

The research—by Adadyn (source), entitled “Online Ads,” and conducted by Morar Consulting—revealed that, in excess of three in five U.S. digital shoppers, a total of 62 percent, feel that digital advertising is typically well-targeted to its interests. Younger respondents, for the most part, were likelier to agree with this when compared to older consumers; however, about half of consumers aged 55 and older responded that digital ads were appropriately targeted to them.

U.S. Digital Shoppers Who Believe Receiving Ads for Recently Visited Sites is Useful (by demographic):


Male: 63 percent

Female: 60 percent


18-24: 57 percent

25-34: 68 percent

35-44: 66 percent

45-54: 52 percent

55+: 51 percent

Total: 61 percent

U.S. Digital Shoppers Who Believe Digital Ads Are Properly Targeted to Their Interests (by demographic):


Male: 65 percent

Female: 59 percent


18-24: 65 percent

25-34: 71 percent

35-44: 59 percent

45-54: 56 percent

55+: 50 percent

Total: 62 percent

Certain targeting types were, in some cases, found to be even more helpful to consumers:

Geotargeted Mobile Ads:

  • 68 percent of all respondents indicated that geotargeted mobile ads were useful
  • 77 percent of respondents aged 18-25 indicated that these ads were useful


  • 61 percent of digital shoppers found ads for recently visited sites, so-called “retargeted ads” were helpful when completing purchases
  • By age, the pattern was similar to the overall targeting question: 25- to 34-year-olds were likely to respond positively

According to eMarketer.com, geotargeting may be deemed more beneficial because “respondents report being more open to advertisements from local businesses” and these may include mobile and other digital ads. Overall, 71 percent of digital shoppers responded that they were likelier to respond to ads from local businesses than to those issued by national chains.

A key element in driving consumer responses involves properly targeted, or relevant ads. In July 2015, Undertone discovered that 40 percent of U.S. consumers indicated that it was personal relevance that pushed consumers to respond to ads. Most—more than two-thirds of U.S. Internet users who clicked on Rising Star ads, for instance, indicated that they did so because of the ad’s relevance to them. Meanwhile, in September 2015, only 39 percent of U.S. millennial mobile device users surveyed by Retale indicated that they did not respond to push notifications because the ads were not sufficiently relevant.


eMarketer; Most Digital Shoppers See Well Targeted Ads; Three in five also see retargeting as useful; November 24, 2015.