Study Finds Relevant Advertising Improves Online Experience, Cookie Concern Down

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A joint study conducted by Revenue Science and the Ponemon Institude finds that a majority of consumers prefer advertising based on their individual interests.

Specifically, 63 percent of those surveyed said that Internet marketers should “always” understand their interests prior to sending them advertising, while 55 percent stated that online ads of interest to them “improves” or “greatly improves” their overall online experience.

The Ponemon Institute, a research institute catering to privacy management practices in business and government, polled more than 1,700 people to learn about consumers’ motivations and preferences in receiving online advertising, as well as how knowledge about cookies impacted these issues.

“This study shows that not only do consumers prefer relevant advertising, but also that advertisers should consider behavioral targeting methods for providing consumers with more relevant ads as long as privacy and anonymity are assured,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of Ponemon Institute. “The tables are indeed turning and the advertising community would be well served to pay attention.”

The study also reveals that cookie deletion is trending downward. When asked how often they delete cookies from their hard drives, only 8 percent of the participants answered “very frequently” compared to 18 percent in a 2004 survey. Meanwhile, 24 percent indicated they “never” delete cookies, which more than doubles the 11 percent from the previous survey.

“What’s especially interesting is that knowledgeable respondents appeared to be much less concerned about the use of cookies,” said Omar Tawakol, chief marketing officer at Revenue Science. “In fact, 63 percent of respondents stated that they’re likely to click on an Internet ad that reflects their interests and preferences regardless of whether it utilizes cookies.”

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