Online marketers need to respect time and place

22 Feb 2009

Internet users are most likely to be open to online advertising after 6pm, and if they are already researching deals or shopping at the time, according to a new study by Lightspeed Research and the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The survey of 5,000 people in November and December 2008 looked at when and where online consumers are most likely to pay attention to advertising messages, and the different formats they are more inclined to notice and respond to.

David Day, CEO Europe of Lightspeed Europe, believes this information is vital for ensuring the success of online campaigns. “Knowing when surfers are more receptive to advertising messages allows marketers to target their campaigns more closely and get the most from their online advertising budget,” he said.

The research found that, across all age groups, consumers believe they are most open to ads from the early evening onwards. For 18–24 year olds, this receptiveness builds up gradually during the day – from 4pc before 9am to 46pc after 6pm. Over-55s, however, report spikes of receptiveness between 9am and midday (21pc) and between 2pm and 6pm (23pc), before hitting a high of 45pc in the evenings.

The research also suggests that the most effective way of reaching consumers with advertising messages is to catch them during e-commerce activity: asked how likely they are to pay attention to ads when involved with a range of online activities, 19pc of respondents said they were ‘very likely’ to do so when researching for the best deals online, while 13pc said they were very likely to do so when shopping online. Overall, 65pc said they are at least ‘likely’ to pay attention to ads when they’re researching deals, and 63pc said they’d be likely to when shopping.

More than 50pc also said they are receptive when using a search engine or visiting social-networking sites. Some 45pc, meanwhile, said they are ‘very unlikely’ to pay attention to online ads when watching catch-up TV, live videos or movie clips.

The survey also asked about receptiveness to different online advertising formats. Forty-eight per cent of respondents said they have seen and sometimes clicked on sponsored links in a search result, making this the most responded to format.

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