Consumer Challenges on the Road to Engagement Online

There are many steps on the path to online engagement. In order to reach our destination – an engaged audience who is eager to share our brand’s message – the path must be explored from inception to modern day evolution. With careful examination of the challenges marketers face, effective online engagement strategies can be created.  

What online engagement challenges do marketers face?

1. Media context affecting consumers online.

These days, it is almost impossible to acquire 100% of your media-engaged consumer’s attention.  BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Usage Study found that 70.7% of Internet users reported using other types of media when they are online; likewise, 67.9% of individuals reported watching television while engaging with other forms of media. Multitasking media usage makes gaining a consumer’s attention challenging.

Consumers can also view thousands of television and radio stations and peruse an endless number of websites in search of their interests. This ‘fragmented media usage’ means online media buying must reaggregate fragmented audiences to ensure ads are precisely targeted without sacrificing reach. The ‘long tail effect,’ when properly acknowledged by marketers, is exciting not only for  internet users seeking to explore niche interests, but also for marketers who want to reach even the smallest niche consumer.

In the end, however, even if an online ad is targeted to reach the niche consumer, marketers still must be aware of consumers’ perceptions of clutter online. Mindshare Online Research found that 62.2% of consumers felt the Internet was too cluttered with advertising. Perceptions of clutter online can be positively affected by advertisers who work to increase value and relevance of online advertisements.

2. Consumers’ perceptions of online advertising.

Internet users who have been accessing the web since the Web 1.0 days remember the flashy, often obnoxious and invasive advertising techniques originally used to gain viewers’ attentions. According to the Magazine Publishers of America, in a report titled, “Engagement: Understanding Consumers Relationship With Media,” only 30% of respondents indicated a positive attitude toward Internet advertising.

While advertising dollars are still being spent by companies to produce this type of material, the emphasis for marketers today should be creating advertisements for a Web 2.0 world. In a Web 2.0 world, we have the opportunity to develop advertising that is engaging, entertaining, informative, fun, credible, different – advertising that consumers invite into their lives.

What challenges have you faced on the path to online engagement? Please share your thoughts below.

For more information on “Consumer Challenges on the Road to Engagement,” visit pages 15-17 in Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 -World.

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