Millennials and Generation Z account for a combined 48% of the U.S. population. While the two groups might be very different in makeup, what they can agree on is that the ads they see on social media are more relevant to them than on any other channel.
That’s just one of the key findings of Adobe Digital Insights’ (ADI) “State Of Digital Advertising” report, setting Millennials and Gen Zers apart from Generation X, Baby Boomers, and older generations, who overwhelmingly said they see television advertising as more relevant.
“Social channels are where these generations see the most relevant content in their lives. With that context as well as solid targeting and creative optimization options, marketers are able to keep their ads relevant too,” said Taylor Schreiner, ADI principal analyst.
As part of its analysis, ADI sifted through aggregated and anonymous data from Adobe Experience Cloud, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Analytics Cloud, and Adobe Advertising Cloud. ADI also surveyed 1,000 consumers and 250 digital marketers in the U.S. between February and March about their views on digital advertising.
Ads on social media, according to the report, play a big role in customer acquisition.
“Just look at the retail industry, where our report found social media drives three times more e-commerce traffic from non-customers than from customers,” Schreiner said. “Social advertising is clearly a key part of a paid/owned/earned media strategy, especially if your audience is under 40.”
For now, though, direct traffic or search remains the primary source of retail visits from both customers (52%) and non-customers (69%) alike. E-mail drives one-fifth of visits from customers (20%) and nearly one-tenth from non-customers (9%).
The Mobile Opportunity
Another key report finding: The share of online visits from smartphones continues to grow across all age groups and industries, up 21% year-over-year. Desktop and tablet visits, however, are down 21% and 31%, respectively.
Mastering the smartphone experience is going to be key to driving growth in visits, Schreiner said. Indeed, ADI found that retailers with rising revenues had 48% more visits from smartphones in January 2018 compared with January 2016. On the other hand, smartphone visits have been nearly flat (5%) for the past two years for retailers with shrinking revenue.
“If you are going to run advertising that brings people back to your site, you need to make sure that experience is mobile-friendly, personalized, and relevant,” Schreiner said.
Also of note, as mobile becomes the preferred screen, marketers are making investments into push notifications, the study found. Push notification sends are up over 300% in the past nine months, which is higher than the growth in e-mail and SMS sends.
ADI also looked into television-viewing patterns and found that TV-connected devices--think: Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, etc.--are increasing as a source of website visits.
“The line between digital and TV continues to blur,” Schreiner said. “TV is increasingly the living room’s internet portal.”
Furthermore, ADI found, the traditional definition of TV is shifting to include digital channels. In fact, nearly two-thirds (60%) of Gen Z consider using a streaming service, such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, as “watching TV.”
As for video advertising, connected TVs have the highest ad completion rates (90%), according to the report. However, it is important to note that their share of impressions was just 7% in January 2018. For the same time frame, desktop video’s share of impressions was the highest (61%), and completion rates were 64%.
Meanwhile, mobile’s share of video ad impressions doubled year-over-year to 31%. Mobile’s ad completion rates were 66%, beating desktop video completion rates for the first time.
“What was interesting to me is the fact that there are regional variations across states when it comes to viewable completion rates,” Schreiner said. “There are enormous efficiencies to be had in optimizing creative regionally. Similar patterns exist around demographics, psychographics, and behavioral segments. Advertisers lose a lot of audience attention when applying a one-size-fits all creative to all of the U.S.”
View the full study below, or click here to view it on SlideShare.
About Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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