2022 Advertising Study: 77% of Consumers Respond to B2C Ads
While much of our focus at UpCity is on B2B marketing efforts, the marketing and advertising trends by B2C providers can provide important insight into consumer engagement rates with various forms of ads, how consumers respond to different types of ads, and what platforms consumers are most likely to interact with ads on. We can also learn to understand through the data gathered from B2C channels consumer behaviors by demographic and income brackets. Ad relevance, brand loyalty, and brand awareness can also be explored via this data. With so many small businesses shifting their marketing and advertising strategies in the post-COVID landscape, it’s crucial that B2B and B2C services both understand how consumer trust has been impacted relative to consumer advertisements.
In order to explore consumer responses to B2C ads more in-depth, UpCity partnered with Pollfish to survey 600 consumers across the United States and Canada and ask these questions, with our findings addressing the following aspects:
- Consumer Ad Types
- Consumer Purchase Behavior
- Online Advertising Platforms
To bolster the findings of the Pollfish survey, we brought in commentary from both consumers and advertising experts themselves to share their insight into how they feel about consumer ads targeted at them.
Consumer Ad Types
77% of consumers are most inclined to click into B2C-based ads
Our survey shows an interesting trend in not only consumer behavior, but also the impact of consumer advertising on their targeted demographics. It lines up with other marketing trends in B2B that consumers in that space are less likely to interact with ads for business services than they are with ads for products and services in their personal lives. Business to business services and sales often take place across networking platforms, especially those like LinkedIn where business sales professionals can make contact with those who make purchasing decisions. The impact and effectiveness of B2C advertising are largely due to the personalization in ads made possible from the marketing statistics and analytics ad platforms collect and make available to advertisers in order to better target their ads.
23% – B2B ads for business products, subscriptions, or services
77% – B2C ads for consumer products, subscriptions, or services
A majority of respondents are most likely to make a purchase after viewing a television ad
Despite upticks in the usage of mobile devices and the time spent consuming social media the industry has seen over the last few years, the pandemic has consumers at home also watching their screens more. Due to the proliferation of streaming services, commercial advertising on traditional television stations has been elevated in order to best capitalize on the market share that is tuned in. This has helped television advertising rise above other channels, but the focus of our respondents on social media and online website advertising shows the rising importance of these platforms through the pandemic as well.
On a scale of 1-8 (1 being the most likely)
Online ads on websites
Search engine ads (ex: Google ads)
Out-of-home ads (ex: Billboards, signs)
Most consumers also view television ads as being the most trustworthy
The effectiveness and impact of television ads come down to how trustworthy viewers feel the brands running those ads are. From our respondents, we found that television and traditional print advertising were most trusted by consumers, with many of the online channels considered less trustworthy.
The trustworthiness that consumers ascribe to traditional channels stems from how much more accurate and in-depth the advertising appears to be when broadcast, versus the opinion that online marketing can be manipulated and is often based on unverified information in order to prioritize being first to market. Consumers also find online and digital ads disruptive to their workflow and day-to-day, whereas advertising on traditional channels is seen during a time when consumers are more open to being pitched to for products in their personal lives.
On a scale of 1-8, (1 being the most trustworthy)
Search engine ads (ex: Google ads)
Online ads on websites
Out-of-home ads (ex: Billboards, signs)
Consumers view out-of-home ads as one of the least trustworthy advertising sources
Unlike digital media and online advertising channels or even television and print advertising, channels which all depend upon metrics and data analytics and the ability to best target audiences, out-of-home ads are blind efforts at reaching targeted potential customers and new customers. Billboards and signage out in the world, even with research into known traffic patterns and local demographics, are still the least targeted advertising and difficult to evaluate the impact of. Exposure of the ads then becomes an issue, as those who do see the ads often drive by the same signs or billboards so often that they become part of the landscape and are largely ignored. For our respondents in this survey, this makes out-of-home ads the least trustworthy of the options before them.
To learn more about what consumers look for in advertising, we took these same questions to the community at large. We wanted to know their behaviors relative to where they were most and least likely to respond to ads, and whether they would respond to brand advertising for products or services they’d used in the past.
“I prefer word-of-mouth advertising because when a product has been tried and tested by the people I know, I am more inclined to actually purchase it. The sheer number of new products is overwhelming and as much as possible, I narrow down the things I will try and eventually trust. Because the product review came from a satisfied customer, the promotion is all the more credible. Alternatively, I trust social media advertising the least because of all the fake news and fake accounts on social networks, I find it hard to trust advertisements coming from it. I am skeptical about the veracity of ads using this platform as the contents are easily manipulated. Pop-up ads do not appeal to me at all because they might be a bait for malware and viruses.”
—Tommy Mello, CEO, A1 Garage Door Service
“Going into 2022, I trust social media advertising across such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn the most, while the least trusted platforms to me in the coming year are radio, television, and billboards. We don’t put much faith in these outdated forms of advertising as people increasingly adapt to an increasingly digitized advertising landscape.”
—Leslie Radka, Founder & Hiring Manager, GreatPeopleSearch
“Television ads are out there for everyone to see and are not usually directed at a specific target audience. This means that they are exposed to verification by just about anyone. Moreover, they cost a lot more too, so only brands that run trustworthy campaigns would want to invest in them. That’s why we trust television ads over other types of platforms, especially social media. It is difficult to trust social media ads because out here, even entities that do not have a trusted base can run ads and advertise their products and services. At times, even the offerings that are promoted via attractive social media ads turn out to be fake.”
—Larissa Pickens, Founder, Everfumed
“Since the pandemic began, I have found advertisements to be a mixed bag. The ads that are more localized and helpful were the ones that I tended to trust the most. For example, if I received a personalized postcard and menu from a local restaurant that had takeout specials and updated pickup/delivery options, I would tend to trust that advertisement. For digital ads, I also appreciated the ads that were providing something relevant while remaining direct and straightforward. After all, with everything we were going through, I preferred ads that were more helpful and authentic than forced and canned.”
—Chris Biscuiti, PR Rep/Content Specialist, Minuteman Press International
Consumers can be reached across a number of different channels, and as we move into 2022, it’s crucial to understand where your advertising dollars will have the most impact. For B2C companies, television remains a powerful advertising tool and is well trusted by consumers due to the costs and time necessary to create those ads. Digital media seems to be less legitimate to many consumers due to the low barrier of entry in order to overcome the competition.
Consumer Purchase Behaviors
61% of users would rather respond to an ad from a brand that they’ve already used.
Our respondents confirm a fairly expected behavior of consumers, despite the impact of the pandemic, to continue to consume products and services with which they are familiar or have purchased in the past. Interestingly, almost a quarter of the respondents didn’t feel strongly about brand loyalty either way.
61% – I’m more likely to purchase from a brand that I already use
7% – I’d prefer to purchase from a new brand I haven’t yet tried
24% – Neutral, I don’t feel strongly either way
8% – I’m not likely to purchase from any advertisements at all
“This is lower than I would expect, but it may support the theory that too many companies overpromise in their ads and under-deliver with their product or service. Certainly, if you study consumer behavior, branding, or buy into the Recognition Heuristic theory you would think that the percentage would be higher. Perhaps younger consumers have a higher risk tolerance for trying new brands or take more pride in being non-conformists. Maybe today’s consumers are more apt to try new brands out of a fear of missing out. There also seems to be a trend in the industry towards new brands trying to convince people that their trusted brand has been gouging them…think Dollar Shave Club’s attack on the razor industry. Despite all of these concerns, I still think that good branding can still achieve a much higher percentage.”
—Mark Forst, President, Captiva Marketing
Building and maintaining brand loyalty is crucial to growing business, and advertising to consumers where they are most likely to buy into your ad content is one of the best methods for accomplishing this. We asked consumers whether they were more likely to remain loyal to a brand or explore market options, and their responses were somewhat mixed.
“Rather than remain completely loyal to a brand, I tend to respond to multiple items and brands. It’s because I discovered that by simply scanning my screen in a search, I can easily find several items that I desire and it saves my time in finding the authentic platform. I rely on reviews and ratings to confirm whether I am going to invest in a trustworthy brand or not.”
—Ryan Yount, Founder, LuckLuckGo
“I’m not completely ruling it out, but there’s a high chance I don’t respond to an ad for a brand I haven’t used before. This is because I’ve had bad experiences in the past whereby I give a new brand a chance and get disappointed. Hence, I like to stay loyal to the brands I have experience with.”
—Cristina Ortega, Founder, Mrs. Property Solutions
“If I have previous experience with a brand, that will influence my research journey, but it won’t always be the final verdict. Too many times companies have sacrificed quality over the years to create substandard products.”
—Jeff Neal, Engagement Officer, Critter Depot
39% of millennials are neutral to online ads, compared to 51% of baby boomers who noted that online ads feel like an invasion of privacy
It shouldn’t be a surprise to find generational differences in how different demographic age groups feel about online advertising. Generation Z and Millennials either accept online advertising or are neutral towards it. While roughly a third of respondents under the age of 54 felt like online advertisements were an invasion of privacy, Baby Boomers have a stronger dislike of online advertising. For those over 55, 51% of our respondents in this age cohort felt as if online advertising, which can be extremely personalized and targeted, is an invasion of privacy.
This difference largely stems from a comfort level and reliance upon technology in each generation. While Gen X has witnessed the advancement of these technologies over time, Gen Z and Millennials have lived with them all of their lives, so their concerns of online privacy are less, as they are willing to exchange privacy for convenience. Baby Boomers, however, have been forced into this online landscape by necessity, and aren’t as comfortable relinquishing their personal data and online activity in order to streamline their online commerce experiences.
|I don’t mind it – it helps me find more relevant brands||Neutral – I don’t feel strongly either way||I don’t like it – it feels like an invasion of privacy||Other|
|Generation Z (Ages 18-24)||26%||40%||32%||1%|
|Millennials (Ages 25-34)||27%||39%||31%||2%|
|Generation X (Ages 35-54)||20%||45%||35%||0%|
|Baby Boomers (Ages 55+)||16%||33%||51%||0%|
We wanted to get more commentary on what the consumers in the field feel about online advertising, and this is what our community had to say about whether they felt online ads were an invasion or if they embraced them as part of the online consumer experience. Answers fell roughly into the same two patterns as above.
“The targeted online ads are sometimes very good as they show us products based on our previous purchases, it saves our time and energy. But on the other hand, it feels like a breach of privacy as getting these relevant ads means your data is being shared with people that you don’t know. It shows that the marketers are sharing personal data of ours with people we don’t know, which is very concerning as we don’t know how this information can be used by the marketers.”
—David Farkas, CEO, The Upper Ranks
“I’m okay with targeted ads for the most part. They tailor my online experience. I understand that the internet is full of free content for me to consume, by getting this content for free we get ads. For me, getting ads that are targeted to me and my potential interest are more beneficial. They give me ideas, sometimes discounts for items I’m looking at, and make me aware of places or things that I am interested in, but may not otherwise have known about. And I don’t feel like they are an invasion of privacy. If privacy was something I was concerned about then I wouldn’t be on social media.”
—Julie Dameron, Owner, Family Trips and Travels
“As far as I’m concerned, ad targeting now is vastly different from how it was done a decade or so ago, and most consumers are utterly oblivious of what data comes into the targeting process. Yes, I believe that is the case. Invasion of privacy concerns may arise from targeted advertising. You should, however, keep in mind that any information you post online can be traced, including search engine requests, social media updates, and the websites you visit. When this information is tracked, it may show up in a targeted ad for you. Advertisers make more assumptions about your purchasing behavior the more information they have about you. Advertisers don’t care about your age, gender, money, or relationship status if it means they can sell you something.”
—Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO, DiscountReactor
Lower-income consumers are 38% more likely to have last made a purchase from an ad within the last 3-6 months, compared to middle-income earners at 36% and higher-income earners at 32%.
In the mid-range of 3-6 months, targeted advertising seems to drive the behaviors of lower-income consumers more significantly than at other income tiers. However, it’s interesting to note that the opposite trend is true in the short-term, with high-income consumers having clicked on and purchased something from an ad within the last 30-days. Much of this behavior revolves around the type of personalization and the types of products and services targeted to the users and their own purchasing habits.
|Within the last 30 days||Within the last 3-6 months||Over 6 months ago||I’ve never made a purchase from an advertisement|
|Middle Income ($50,000-$99,999)||30%||36%||20%||5%|
|High Income ($100,000-$150,000+)||31%||32%||23%||14%|
Our inquiries into the click through rates of ads and purchasing behavior in response to targeted ads show consumers who are discerning of the products and services they choose to purchase online.
“It was about three months ago. I’d heard about the product as the brand sponsors one of my favorite podcasts. I liked the idea and when I saw an advert for said product on Facebook, I thought ‘Why not?’, clicked the link, and purchased it.”
—Ross Jurewitz, Founder & Managing Attorney, Jurewitz Law Group
“If they’re truly personalized, targeted ads aid me in my shopping wants and needs. I’ve found products that I love from targeted ads, so I do think there’s a benefit to them. Last year, we needed a new waffle maker and I ended up purchasing one from an ad that came up when I was scrolling Facebook.”
—Katie Lyon, Co-Founder, Allegiance Flag Supply
“Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve ever bought anything directly from a targeted ad. I might look at an ad, but I don’t find myself clicking on it to make a purchase. I’ll make a mental note of the item and come back later if I decide I do want to purchase it.”
—James Green, Owner, Build A Head
47% of higher-income earners pay more attention to ads around holidays, events, and special occasions compared to 34% of middle-income earners and 32% of lower-income earners
More companies are leveraging eCommerce in the last several years, so it makes sense that targeted ads are more impactful and effective with higher-income earners around holidays and events, as the intent is to drive advertising during these time periods towards those with disposable income more likely to make a purchase than those being more careful and discerning with their finances.
|I pay more attention to advertisements around special events (Holidays, the Super Bowl, Elections, etc.)||It depends on the occasion and the brand being advertised||Certain times of the year don’t impact my attention to advertisements|
|Middle Income ($50,000-$99,999)||34%||39%||27%|
|High Income ($100,000-$150,000+)||47%||30%||23%|
The commentary from our community of consumers is interesting, as it shows consumers who do in fact pay more attention to the ads during the holidays but some who also feel that advertisements during holidays are overhyped and aggressive, causing them to ignore them more often than not.
“I rarely pay close attention to most advertisements during the holidays because I believe that promotions are hyped even more this time. I usually skip them from my social media feed. I prefer responding to advertisements organically.”
—Michael Haas, President, AngryBBQ
“Ads around holidays or special occasions are more creative and, therefore, more interesting to watch. But they don’t necessarily prod us into buying something new because it would be pretty risky to try out a new offering at the last minute.”
—Eva Taylor, Content Manager, WP Buffs
“I certainly pay greater attention to ads during holidays and special occasions. That’s because usually, retailers offer attractive discounts during these periods, so customers have an excellent chance to save on their favorite stuff.”
—Ben Wagner, Real Estate Investor & House Flipper, Leave the Key
47% of respondents noted that COVID-19 hasn’t changed their trust in ads, citing that they have always been neutral to advertisements overall
Despite the impact of the pandemic on other elements of the economy, our respondents’ feedback shows that their position towards online ads has remained fairly consistent relative to their position on advertising prior to the pandemic. This supports the possibility that there is a certain degree of fatigue in consumers to the increasingly aggressive advertising tactics online and that this trend has been building long before companies were so negatively impacted by the pandemic. With the need to recover and stabilize revenue streams and build client bases, this aggressive trend across various digital marketing channels isn’t anticipated to abate.
14% – I trust advertising more in 2022
14% – I trusted advertising before COVID and I still trust it
47% – Neutral – I didn’t feel strongly then and I don’t feel strongly now
9% – I now trust advertising less in 2022
15% – I didn’t trust advertising before COVID and I still don’t trust it
The online community responded to this same question in much the same vein with a mix of neutrality and guarded, conditional trust.
“I do find myself more interested in looking at ads than I did prior to COVID. I am working from home now, so I have a lot more time to watch TV, browse the internet and check social media. I think that has created a larger opportunity for ads to catch my eye.”
—Janet Coleman, Co-Founder, The Consumer Mag
“My trust in advertisements has shifted in a way that I now consider advertisements as my helping hand in purchasing goods and services. Especially when COVID came, I became more dependent on buying goods online. Word-of-mouth and positive customer feedback were real game-changers that can make or break a decision if I should buy a product. When an advertisement shows a lot of customer feedback from real people, it really intrigues me that I need to find out what the fuss was about.”
—Arvie Narido, Writer & Gift Researcher, Gift Rabbit
“My trust in advertisements has changed because advertisements are all about beating the competition, and companies will say anything to gain a competitive edge. Therefore believing an advertisement takes more than just the word of the company but also the public reputation. This calls for companies to develop more compelling ads to gain prospective customers’ trust alongside attention.”
—John Tran, Co-Founder, Mobitrix
However, 40% of consumers also stated that they dislike advertisements focused on political and social issues
To businesses, consumers are a collection of purchasing patterns and behavioral data points, but what they sometimes forget is that consumers are people with personal beliefs and boundaries that should never be crossed, regardless of how personalized businesses can make an ad campaign. Our respondents showed a strong aversion to ads that leverage their political or social beliefs and preferred if advertisers were to avoid these issues altogether in trying to sell to them on an individual basis.
27% – I’m more inclined to pay attention to the advertisements and take action
40% – I don’t like advertisements that focus on political or social issues
33% – Neutral, I don’t feel strongly either way
17% of baby boomers best respond to both comical/humorous ads and direct, honest, and upfront ads compared to 14% of millennials who primarily prefer direct, honest, and upfront ads.
When it comes to the types of ads that are most effective, our respondents in younger generations appear to gravitate towards humorous advertising and creatively artistic ads but tend to appreciate and prioritize advertisements that are direct and honest. Older generations seem to weigh both types of advertising equally but also place significantly less interest in other types of advertising.
Overall, it seems like all consumers are more interested in advertising content that entertains and amuses rather than insightful or deep and meaningful ads focused on timely news or trends. Strong contenders for consumer attention are also those that are highly creative and focused on the truth. Willful manipulation of information or data has increasingly become a non-starter with consumers, so advertisers must be careful to balance being clever and making claims to capture consumer attention against a growing hesitancy to take advertisers at face value.
|Generation Z (Ages 18-24)||Millennials (Ages 25-34)||Generation X (Ages 35-54)||Baby Boomers (Ages 55+)|
|Calm and reassuring||13%||12%||10%||11%|
|Clever and thought-provoking||10%||12%||12%||16%|
|Creative and artistic||16%||13%||15%||12%|
|Direct, honest, and upfront||13%||14%||15%||17%|
|Comical/ Humorous||Motivational||Educational||Inclusive||Calm and reassuring||Clever and thought-provoking||Creative and artistic||Direct, honest, and upfront||Timely/Trendy/Newsworthy|
|Generation Z (Ages 18-24)||16%||10%||8%||7%||13%||10%||16%||13%||7%|
|Millennials (Ages 25-34)||11%||12%||10%||7%||12%||12%||13%||14%||8%|
|Generation X (Ages 35-54)||15%||12%||8%||6%||10%||12%||15%||15%||8%|
|Baby Boomers (Ages 55+)||17%||8%||9%||4%||11%||16%||12%||17%||7%|
We wanted to dig more into what types of ads consumers were most likely to respond to, so we took the inquiry to our community and found similar preferences to those from our survey.
“I most likely respond to humorous, creative, calm, and reassuring ads. I like humorous ads because they show that a brand is more than a money-making machine. I believe ads must be light-hearted and entertaining to watch and tend to reach a wider audience. Being a creative person myself, I also prefer creative ads because I enjoy the storytelling process behind an ad. With more negative news everywhere, calm and reassuring ads help me focus on the positive things in life.”
—Adam Crossling, Marketing Consultant, Zenzero
“I usually respond to direct, straightforward and creative advertisements. Direct and straightforward ads keep their message clear and sound. There is no extra piece of information to confuse the customer. The information is concise and clear. Therefore, I am more interested in advertisements which are creative yet straightforward.”
—Robin Antill, Director, Leisure Buildings
“The ads which catch my attention, and which will usually provide a response are those with an environmental or humanitarian angle. It is no longer enough for an advertiser to claim to have the best, most up-to-date product. The impact their product will have on society and the environment has become almost as important, if not more so, than our desire to be the latest trendsetter, Slowly, we are coming to realize that profits for major companies are having such a negative impact on our planet and those who live on it that we can live without the latest high-tech gadget, the ridiculously expensive sneakers from sweatshops or the tropical forest destroying palm oil and that there are alternatives out there if we just look for them.”
—Jonathan Zacks, Co-Founder & CEO, GoReminders
Consumers are as complex as they are diverse. Reaching the right consumer with the right messaging is a tricky exercise that marketers must master in order to come across as genuine. Regardless of the pandemic impact on the economy, trends in advertising preferences have held over time, with a focus on creative and humorous marketing providing marketers with the most results.
Online Advertising Platforms
24% of U.S. respondents are most inclined to click on Facebook ads compared to ads on other social media platforms.
The preference for clicking on ads on Facebook stems from several basic truths that apply to the social media platform. With the highest traffic of any social platform, the sheer number of consumers reached by an advertisement would ensure a high percentage of clicks, especially with the deeply granular level to which consumers can be targeted by an ad campaign. The likelihood of consumers to click on a link also is largely influenced by whether or not a users’ friends have liked or shared the company or ad itself, as social proof is a significant driver of consumer behavior.
24% – Facebook
9% – Twitter
16% – Instagram
5% – LinkedIn
11% – TikTok
8% – Snapchat
23% – YouTube
4% – Twitch
2% – Other
20% – YouTube
26% – Facebook
25% – Facebook
25% – YouTube
“As a CEO, I believe that as the world’s largest social media network, Facebook is a safe bet when it comes to advertising. Facebook is popular across a broad range of demographics, including gender and age, which means your target audience is likely to be on the network as well. Advertisers on Facebook can target customers based on their geography (within a 5-mile radius), occupation, interests, and previous activity, among other data elements. Facebook ad pricing varies according to various factors, including the demographic you’re attempting to reach and the budget you’ve established for your advertising. As a general rule, the more money you spend on advertising, the more efficient Facebook’s algorithm becomes at spending your money and enhancing the performance of your ads over time.”
—Mark Valderrama, CEO & Owner, Aquarium Store Depot
“I like to use LinkedIn because it’s very effective for boosting lead generation, recruiting, or raising awareness of specific services or products. It has 630 million users, less than Facebook and Instagram. You’ll need a bigger budget to start seeing results. LinkedIn typically recommends certain CPC bids based on targeting and ad types. The most common ad formats are sponsored content, which appears on your LinkedIn feed, sponsored InMail, text ads, and more advanced dynamic ads for greater personalization. LinkedIn’s targeting options make it a favorite of B2B marketers. Other options for segmenting your target audience include company industry, size, name, followers, job seniority, fields of study, degrees, member schools, job function and title, member skills, member groups and interests, and more. This allows you to create highly targeted audience segments for your ads, allowing you to target the right people and maximize your advertising budget.”
—Adam Wood, Co-Founder, RevenueGeeks
“I am most likely to click on Instagram ads because the ads there are attractive and relevant. Moreover, I use Instagram more than any other social media platform. I prefer to buy products from Instagram ads because I can get a better idea about brands through their social media profile. The influencer reviews on Instagram help me decide which product works best for me.”
—Tim Schroeder, Licensed Realtor & Owner, Agent Marketing Essentials
56% of U.S. consumers noted that the online ads they receive are only somewhat relevant to their needs and interests
Targeting ads to the right demographic or target user on social media depends on a number of factors, and without the right tools or training, a business can miss the mark entirely. This happens as much as 11% of the time, while another 56% of active users claim ads aren’t always relevant or useful. The relevancy of the ads they receive, especially the frequent lack-there-of, can greatly impact long-term trust in advertising.
33% – The ads that I receive are highly targeted
56% – Some ads are more targeted than others
11% – The ads I receive are normally random or inaccurate
Understanding how social media users and consumers feel about the relevance of advertising across social media should be paramount to any business making social media a primary advertising channel, so we posed the question to our community to gain more insight.
“I primarily use Facebook and I think the online ads shown to me are relevant to my interests or needs approximately 50% of the time. I feel that this is likely because I have a personal account as well as a business account on Facebook. The ads shown to me on my business account are more relevant since they are geared toward entrepreneurs who run their own websites. I have experience running ads on Facebook so I know that you can fill out details for which demographic you’re trying to reach. I don’t have much of my personal information filled out on my regular account which is why I don’t think relevant ads reach me there.”
—Alice Anderson, Founder, How She Golfs
“Online ads play an important role in our lives. Being in the United States, online purchasing is easier and more time-saving. Apps are designed intelligently. We received the ads according to our interests, and our interests have been tracked from our search lists. The online advertisements not only show the product but also provide many varieties in it, which finally helps create more options for us.”
—Steven Walker, CEO, Spylix
“Sometimes the ads are relevant to my interests, and sometimes they’re not. It’s about 50/50. I think it just depends on what the algorithms think I might be interested in at that given moment. The algorithms gauge the relevance of ads by a person’s browsing habits. If you’re someone who browses many different websites, then it’s likely that you’ll see more relevant ads because the ad networks will have more data about your interests. But if you only browse a few websites, the ad networks won’t have as much data about your interests, and the ads will likely be less relevant.”
—Randy VanderVaate, Founder & CEO, Funeral Funds of America
21% of Canadian respondents are more likely to click on either Facebook or YouTube ads
Canadian respondents also are more likely to click on ads in Facebook than other social channels, with the exception of YouTube, which Canadians are equally likely to interact with. As with American respondents, Facebook’s broad reach and social proof drive interaction with ads on that platform. YouTube’s ad targeting tools allow marketers to drill down and target their video ads to specific channels and even targeted video content in order to tailor the ads to specific demographics.
21% – Facebook
8% – Twitter
17% – Instagram
6% – LinkedIn
11% – TikTok
6% – Snapchat
21% – YouTube
3% – Twitch
7% – Other
THE ATLANTIC PROVINCES
27% – Facebook
24% – YouTube
THE PRAIRIE PROVINCES
23% – Facebook
16% – Facebook
26% – Facebook
In order to get regional insight into ad interaction behaviors, we also gathered comments from Canadian consumers.
“I most likely click into ads from Facebook and Instagram. Facebook and Instagram ads not only direct me to the brands’ website, but I could also browse their social media pages too for checking reviews and comments about their products or services.”
—Michael Haas, President, AngryBBQ
“I find Instagram ads the ones I would click on most. The visual medium means they express the value of the product much faster, especially in the stories feed. Whereas I might skip a Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube ad, Instagram usually has me captive and I will watch the ad regardless.”
—Mark Cluett, Director of Content & Digital Assets, PolicyAdvisor.com
55% of Canadian consumers also noted that the online ads they receive are only somewhat relevant
The same problems with targeting clients in American advertising exist with Canadian advertisers, and consumers in Canada equally feel that the ads they receive aren’t completely relevant. Slightly more Canadians, in fact, feel that the ads are random or inaccurate than do consumers in the United States.
30% – The ads that I receive are highly targeted
55% – Some ads are more targeted than others
15% – The ads I receive are normally random or inaccurate
Interestingly, Canadian consumers have mixed feedback on the effectiveness of ad targeting and their relevance to their needs.
“Yes, the online ads I receive are relevant to my interests and needs. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, I can receive ads of products of the same nature or type. I am easily presented with brand options when assessing the price and quality of products before purchase.”
—Michael Haas, President, AngryBBQ
“Most online ads I receive are relevant to my interests, though occasionally I will see one for a USB powered shirt or something else ridiculous that makes me pause for thought. It’s obviously based on my search habits, so most ads make sense to me. For instance, if I’m liking pet videos, posting a video of my cat, I’m usually served many relevant ads for cat toys, high tech litter boxes, and treats.”
—Mark Cluett, Director of Content & Digital Assets, PolicyAdvisor.com
Across demographics and geographic regions, survey and community feedback show that ad targeting tactics used by marketers can be inconsistently effective, independent of the channel being used. While consumers are most likely to interact with Facebook Ads, more than half of consumers feel even these ads are not truly meaningful or relevant to their needs.
Use What You’ve Learned to Improve Your Advertising Game
Through this Pollfish survey, UpCity has explored the effectiveness of B2C and B2B marketers’ advertising efforts across multiple channels, and our findings show much inconsistency in the impact of ads on consumer behaviors. However, we feel that we’ve provided enough insight that you can better craft your online advertising strategy to meet your consumer base where they are most likely to interact with your ads and boost your conversion rates. It also highlights the importance of researching and creating a proper ideal persona at which to target your marketing efforts. To learn more about creating a strong advertising strategy, explore B2B service providers on our marketplace and read through the available articles on UpCity’s Marketing & Advertising hub.
UpCity’s Survey Method
UpCity surveyed 600 respondents in the United States and Canada about their insights, interactions, and purchases with consumer advertisements in 2022.
A majority of the respondents are 35-44 years old (27%), followed by 25-34 (24%), and 55 and older (21%).
Almost half of the respondents surveyed earn an annual income of $25,000-$49,999 (45%), $50,000-$99,999 (27%), and $100,000+ (28%).
Forty-three percent of the respondents are male and fifty-seven percent are female.