Marketers Seek Emotional Connections with Digital Branding

The survey strongly indicated the emotional connection concern was paramount, topping worries over the quality of inventory.

marketing and IT management

Although digital marketing decision makers allocate their budgets fairly evenly across digital advertising formats, 88 percent said that making emotional connections through digital media would encourage them to spend more on digital branding campaigns, according to a survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital.

The survey, which polled 300 digital marketing decision makers at Fortune 5000 companies and leading advertising agencies in the United States, found 81 percent of respondents indicated that targeting users based on their emotions, called emotional targeting, would help address the issue of banner blindness.

As to digital marketers’ chief concerns, 37 percent stated that "banner blindness" concerns them most when buying brand ads purchased through programmatic methods, such as ad exchanges or agency trading desks.

Banner blindness is defined as when visitors to a website, mobile website or mobile app consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like or advertising information.

Digital marketers are already starting to identify the digital ad formats they utilize with 37 percent saying they run emotionally targeted in-game branding ads, which includes moments when a player gets a new high score or needs help.

The survey strongly indicated the emotional connection concern was paramount, topping worries over the quality of inventory, viewability, click fraud, ad collision or fraudulent traffic.

"The survey confirms that making emotional connections is extremely important to digital marketers, while ads bought through programmatic methods can be damaging for brands," Ari Brandt, CEO and co-founder of MediaBrix, an advertising and services platform for social and mobile games, said in a statement. "Programmatic clearly has a place within digital media, but the industry has not addressed quality and effectiveness. Until that time, seamlessly integrating ads during emotional moments—that fortify a brand’s relationships with users and add to the overall experience—is the most powerful and effective form of advertising in existence."

The survey also found that 30 percent of digital marketers believe that ads purchased through programmatic methods produce negative customer experiences that damage brand loyalty or negate their branding objectives in other ways. The slight majority (51 percent) saw social media ads as the most effective digital advertising format followed by native advertising and email marketing.

Paid search marketing was most effective for nearly a quarter (23 percent) of survey respondents, and emotionally targeted in-game branding ads (20 percent) and text messaging ads (12 percent) factored in as less effective.

Programmatic ads, which were thought by 30 percent of respondents to negate customer experiences, brand loyalty or branding objectives, were cited as digital marketing’s greatest challenge.