Video Essentials

Don’t Push: The Problem With Targeted Marketing to Millennials

Marketers want to get their messages in front of valuable young consumers, and often use targeted buys to get their ads in front of exactly the audience they want. But here’s the problem: Millennials find that pushy, and it turns them off.

RaptDiscoverWhen someone comes on too strong, the natural urge is to turn away. That’s true for advertising, as well. Rapt Media, a company that creates interactive media experience for brands, has just released Rethinking Content Consumption, the third part in its series on the future of content. The big takeaway here is that online consumers—especially young adults—would rather find content than have it pushed on them.

Consider these stats:

  • 95 percent of those surveyed take action to avoid seeing ads
  • 61 percent say that even when content is customized to their interests, they’d rather find it on their own
  • 5 percent say that ads influence their purchase decisions, while 46 percent say content they find on their own influences purchase decisions.
  • 57 percent of millennials and 38 percent of those over 45 block ads because they’re too pushy

So what’s a marketer to do? Understand that consumers—especially young adults—want to discover content on their own and interact with it in their own way. Rapt found that 54 percent wouldn’t want to interact with personalized, targeted marketing content.

Rather than pushing, provide valuable and personalized content that viewers are free to explore on their own. Rapt found that 62 percent said they’re more likely to purchase from a brand that offers valuable, interesting, or relevant content, and 49 percent said they researched products thoroughly online before buying, Interactive content is the answer, the report says: “Marketers continue to struggle to figure out what consumers really want, but the technologies powering interactive content take the mystery out of it, allowing consumers to directly communicate with brands what it is that they want and need through their content interactions.”

“Marketers often use programmatic content because it is a quick way for them to distribute digital ads—think banner ads or the ads that hang out on the side of the screen when you are reading an article,” says Caleb Hanson, vice president of product at Rapt Media. “But, our recent survey found that millennials have a strong mistrust for this type of content. They don’t want to have brands throwing ads in their face and will often take measures to avoid seeing it. In fact, they’d much rather discover content on their own.”

To get its data, Rapt surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers through an online questionnaire. For more, download Rethinking Content Consumption for free (registration required).



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