How Online Advertising Incentives Influence Brand Perception

How Online Advertising Incentives Influence Brand Perception

Derived from MediaPost; written by Laurie Sullivan.

Brand messages and incentives make consumers pay attention to ads, according to a recent study. In fact, combining the two strategies increases interaction by 91% and brand perception by 38%, as well as improved recall and purchase intent, according to findings from KN Dimestore and SocialVibe released Monday.

While 48% of survey participants reported they may initially opt-in to engage with a brand for the incentive, they stay and pay attention to the brand message.

SocialVibe calls the strategy “value-exchange brand advertising” and defines it as ads that ask for a consumer’s attention in exchange for something they want, such as virtual currency for social games or making a donation to charity. It differs from offer-based, cost-per-action (CPA) advertising, which requires a sign-up or purchase of something.

The study, which gathers data from more than 30,000 survey respondents, set out to determine if and why incentives prompt people to engage with the advertisements, how they affect consumer perception of the brands, and whether they influence people to visit the company’s Web site or tell a friend about the offer. Participants interacted with ads from U.S. brands across financial services, CPG, entertainment, e-commerce and technology categories between June and July of 2011.

Engaging with the ad increased the odds that the consumer would purchase the product. For instance, when survey participants were asked about their intent to purchase a brand, another CPG product in the study showed an increase of 32 points, or a 110 percent increase. A similar increase was seen in the entertainment category, where the intent to view a specific television program rose 32 points.

The study demonstrates that incentives through ads drive Web site and in-store traffic, as well as purchases and conversions. Consumers who gain a satisfied view through incentives tend to visit the brand’s Web site more often and 36% are more likely to shop for brand-related items at physical store after interacting with the ad.

As part of the study, KN Dimestore, a subsidiary of Knowledge Networks, demonstrated how consumers took the opportunity to earn virtual currency to Zynga game players in exchange for interacting with a movie studio’s ad. Consumers who had interacted — as well as not interacted — with the ad, were asked if they had gone to see the movie in theaters. The study revealed 32 out of every 100 people who interacted with the ad bought tickets and saw the movie.

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