Marketers’ and consumers’ opinions differ on preferred ad channels: Kantar

There is a significant disconnect between what marketers and consumers regard as their preferred advertising channel, according to “Kantar Media Reactions 2023,” the latest edition of the annual study tracking both marketer and consumer attitudes to advertising.

While online video ads remain marketers’ preferred delivery mechanism, for example, they don’t rank among the top five for consumers, who tend to prefer “in person” media such as sponsored events, cinema, and out-of-home.

“Marketers’ preferences remain more dynamic, and generally differ from those of consumers,” said Kantar in the study overview. Now in its fourth year, the study is based on interviews with 16,000 consumers in 23 markets (although Canada was not included), as well as 900 senior marketers.

According to Kantar, ad campaigns are seven times more impactful when they find receptive audiences, meaning it behooves advertisers to make smart choices when it comes to their media mix.

Source: Kantar Media Reactions 2023

The main event

The study found that sponsored events are a favourite among consumers, and that their positive attitude towards events has remained stable.

“Over the years, the lack of negative perceptions has not changed, but the perception of innovation, as well as trust, has increased,” said Kantar, which noted that sponsored events have adapted well to the digital age and the pandemic—with face-to-face events now often accompanied by well-produced online events, often in a hybrid format.

Marketers’ view of the sponsored events as a channel for advertising has also been improving steadily since 2021, thanks to higher trust.

DOOH: Making a ‘big splash’

Traditional and digital out-of-home both ranked among the top five most preferred ad platforms among consumers.

According to Kantar, DOOH addresses the “dullness issue” that consumers have with traditional static displays, while also layering in additional information.

Marketers, too, are “highly receptive” to DOOH, the study noted. “For both groups, digital OOH is the most innovative channel out there—especially as it takes advantage of high screen resolution and fast-developing creative technologies. And mainly among marketers, trust is also high for outdoor ads.”

Online video: the “marketer’s darling”

According to Kantar, marketers continue to place their “top bets” on online video, which they selected as their preferred media channel for the fourth year in a row (it did not make consumers’ top five preferred ad channels).

It is also marketers’ third most-trusted channel behind TV and sponsored events, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of marketers indicating that they plan to increase their spend in the channel next year.

The report notes that marketer interest in TV continues to wane, falling to 12th place overall from third place last year. The study notes that while trust in TV remains high, it was fallen by 5% since 2021. “Combined with a lack of innovation, TV finds it hard to compete for marketer preference,” the study concludes, noting that just 6% of marketers signalled their intent to increase TV spend next year.

Source: Kantar Media Reactions 2023

Amazon: the consumer choice

Consumers chose Amazon as their preferred advertising channel for the second straight year, with Kantar saying that ads on the channel are perceived as “relevant and useful,” with few negative qualities other than some concerns over excessive targeting.

The study said that Amazon has made notable strides in trust among both consumers and marketers, with the latter’s trust increasing by about 10% since last year. However, the report also notes that there is still more work to be done from the publisher’s perspective to make it a top platform.

Marketers trust YouTube

Marketers’ trust in YouTube continues to increase, with the platform leap-frogging Instagram to become the most trusted platform, followed by Google in second place. There is a marked disconnect between marketers and consumers, however, with YouTube failing to appear in the latter’s top five.

The study also noted a “big change” in consumer attitudes towards Google, thanks to an improvement in key metrics like relevance and usefulness. Like Amazon, however, consumer concerns about excessive targeting persist.

Not surprisingly, the channel formerly known as Twitter has taken a beating in marketer perception during the tumultuous period following Elon Musk’s acquisition last year. “Perhaps partly influenced by the controversy, consumers and marketers are not particularly happy with the advertising on the platform,” the study concluded, noting that its receptivity among marketers is now in the negative.

Is the metaverse a flop?

Not surprisingly, the bold predictions about the metaverse remain unfulfilled, which is reflected in marketers’ attitudes towards the channel. Nearly two-thirds of marketers (61%) indicated that they planned to increase spend on the metaverse this year, but only 12% followed through. In this year’s study, meanwhile, just 22% of marketers indicated that they will raise their budget for metaverse advertising in the year ahead.

Chris Powell