Valassis Study Reveals Digital Advertising’s Pivotal Role in Consumer Buying Decisions

E-book Highlights Impact of Digital ads Along the Consumer Path to Purchase

LIVONIA, Mich. – Valassis, a leader in intelligent media delivery, releases proprietary research that examines the influence of digital advertising on purchase decisions. The findings from “Motivating the Dynamic Shopper: Purchase Decisions In-Progress,” focus on five key “moments” of the consumer purchase journey – thinking, wanting, watching, acting and shopping – and unveil the sometimes hidden impact of advertising at each stage.

“We know consumers seek out offers in both digital and print”

The research analyzes how digital ads best engage and then motivate millennials, Gen X, baby boomers and parents to take action. According to this data, nearly 55 percent of shoppers surveyed notice relevant digital ads but don’t click, respond or buy immediately. This is especially true for parents (66 percent); millennials (62 percent); and Gen X (60 percent).

So, what motivates these shoppers to move along the path to purchase?

  • Coupons (39 percent) and discounts (32 percent) are the top two triggers influencing consumers to respond to a digital ad; and
  • Seeing a product ad in both print and online – 24 percent of consumers are more likely to respond when seeing an ad in both mediums, increasing to 50 percent for parents and 47 percent for millennials.

Marketers should also consider consumer location and device preference to ignite action. Today’s dynamic shopper is constantly on the move, yet “home” is the top place where they pay attention to digital ads.

Research reveals:

  • Desktops and laptops rank first among devices on which all three aforementioned generations are most likely to notice or act on a digital ad at home;
  • Millennials, however, notice or act upon ads similarly across all digital devices while at home, with only a 4-5 percentage point difference in attention paid to ads on desktops versus tablets and mobile phones;
  • At work digital ads are noticed on desktop or laptop by:
    • 27 percent of millennials;
    • 26 percent of parents; and
    • 11 percent overall.

“We know consumers seek out offers in both digital and print,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer, Valassis. “This research supports the need to start with consumers, understand their behavior and deliver an integrated campaign coupled with cross-device delivery to move them along their path to purchase. Having a greater understanding of what motivates today’s dynamic shopper helps close the awareness to activation gap.”

The device on which shoppers are most likely to notice and respond to digital ads depends on the product featured and the target audience. For department/discount store ads, 36 percent of millennials prefer their smartphone while 41 percent of boomers are most likely to notice these ads on their desktop/laptop. In contrast, furniture is one category where millennials notice ads more on the desktop/laptop, surpassing the smartphone for response.

For more findings, download the e-book.

About the Study:

The Valassis Awareness-to-Activation Study is an ongoing study fielded throughout 2016 and 2017 in conjunction with The NPD Group, Inc., a global market research company. The sample was derived via an online survey, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Approximately 10,000 respondents are surveyed annually.

About Valassis

Valassis is a leader in intelligent media delivery, providing over 58,000 clients with innovative media solutions to influence consumers wherever they plan, shop, buy and share. By integrating online and offline data combined with powerful insights, Valassis precisely targets its clients’ most valuable shoppers, offering unparalleled reach and scale. NCH Marketing Services, Inc. and Clipper Magazine are Valassis subsidiaries, and RedPlum® is its consumer brand. Its signature Have You Seen Me?®program delivers hope to missing children and their families. Valassis is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings.