Online campaigns struggle to target women. The Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector struggles most to reach targets.
Mobile tends to be more accurate than PCs when it comes to successfully serving ads to the age and gender advertisers intended, according to a study of 60,000 campaigns across 20+ countries by measurement company Nielsen.
The data, collected by the company’s Digital Ad Ratings service, showed that for campaigns aiming to reach both men and women, mobile had a higher “on-target” hit rate for six of the nine age breakdowns. The study also revealed that the proportion of campaigns involving a mobile element more than doubled from 22% to 55%.
The study showed that only 50% of all ad impressions served to mobiles and PCs in the UK that were meant for women were served to women, compared to the 62% success hit rate when targeting men. This discrepancy was even more pronounced when targeting 18-34 year olds, with just 22% successfully hitting women but 33% for men.
However, mobile provided one area where advertisers are much better at targeting women than men. Among mobile campaigns targeted at 25-44 year olds, 37% of impressions were successfully served to women, compared to just 22% among men – nearly double the on-target rate.
“Online advertising has plenty of room for improvement in hitting advertisers’ desired audiences, particularly women” said Barney Farmer, Nielsen’s UK commercial director.
“Various things that can make a difference are better use of the available technology, incorporating wider sources of data, particularly first party data, as well as buyers taking more action on the insights they’ve got from previous campaigns to improve future results.”
Accuracy also varies widely by sector. Travel and Business/Consumer Services marketers were the most likely to reach their desired audience (both doing so 67% of the time) followed by Entertainment (65%). In contrast, Retail (42%) and FMCG (43%) marketers struggled most to reach their target audience. However, FMCG had a much higher hit rate on mobile (52%) than desktop (42%), as did Computers/Electronics (60% vs 51%).
Advertisers more keen on third-party measurement
Farmer reveals that the number of campaigns measured through the service jumped 78% year-on-year. He says that as the digital media ecosystem becomes more complex, this large rise is “indicative” of more marketers viewing third-party measurement as “vital in ensuring they’re actually reaching their audience and maximising ROI.”
He echoes the ongoing calls from the buying community about third-party measurement in that “buyers should have more visibility about campaign performance from independent third parties.”