Can Targeted Ads Influence How You View Yourself?

Can a targeted ad change how you think about yourself?

Online tracking technology allows marketers to deliver ads that are specifically targeted to individuals based upon on their search history. This type of personalised advertising is highly effective and receives a high conversion rate but a recent study by Harvard Business Review published in the Journal of Consumer Research has revealed that targeted ads can change how one thinks of themselves.

The study examined whether behaviourally targeted ads have unique psychological consequences that help make them more effective than ads that rely on traditional targeting. It was first revealed that an ad which is targeted based on one’s online history makes one more interested in buying this product. Furthermore, consumers begin to change their self-perception when interacting with these targeted ads. For example, after receiving a behaviourally targeted ad for an environmentally friendly product, participants rated themselves as more ‘green’ and more willing to buy the advertised product.

What does this mean for businesses?

The study reveals that brands with strong personalities would benefit from behavioural targeting. There does however need to be transparency between consumer and marketer for success due to the fact that behaviorally targeted ads can increase privacy concerns.

This style of marketing is not for every brand and can be a double-edged sword. It could benefit a brand by increasing interest in a greater variety of products through a specific trait but it may also benefit one’s competition by strengthening a trait that can be expressed through purchasing from similar brands. Also, there is some limitations to this targeting. The targeting needs to be as accurate as possible, otherwise the individual may not feel inclined to purchase.

Have you considered using targeted advertising for your business? Contact Loud Days to find out more.

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