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According to a recent study published by Yahoo and MediaVest, the mindset of consumers is crucial to having online marketing success. Too often, media buyers and planners are so worried about reaching exact audiences that they end up ignoring the importance of consumer context and environment. In an era where engagement is becoming the standard of measurement, marketers must learn why consumers are online instead of simply acknowledging that they’re logged on.
The study, which surveyed 3,300 respondents using the Web and personal interviews, uncovered a number of consumer behavior insights. First, consumers are not only logging on for entertainment, but also for business. Many consumers, including myself use the information superhighway to pay bills, shop and perform other goal-specific tasks. Research suggests that when consumers are looking to accomplish a goal, the majority of the study’s respondent’s said that they were paying full attention to accomplishing that goal. As a result, 58% of those studied said that they did not want to be bothered by advertising when performing goal-related tasks online.
Similarly, consumers reported that when pursuing their hobbies or passions, they demonstrate a similar correlation between being immersed and less interested in receiving advertising.
When consumers are connecting with friends or engaging in online entertainment, users are much more receptive to unexpected or unrelated online ads. In fact, only 42% of those participating in the study said they did not want to be bothered by ads when connecting with friends, while 47% has similar views about entertainment on the Web.
So what should we, as marketers, takeaway from this study? For starters, don’t get caught up in the numbers. When buying space on a site, think about why consumers are going there. Consider consumer mindset in addition to traditional demographic targeting when planning online campaigns.
Marketers must find new innovative ways to ensure that they are reaching the right audiences at the right time. That being said, I believe continued research into consumer mindset and other psychological motivators affecting online behavior will forever shape how we buy and place media on the Web.

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Rob Womack

If there’s anyone who can honestly say, “Been there, done that,” it’s Rob. After traveling the world for seven years in his 20’s, Rob went to LA and started working in film production. Then it was off to New York, where he learned how to program, which eventually brought him back home to Louisville to build websites. At Current360, Rob heads up our in-house production studio, creating all things digital for our clients — videos, commercials, radio spots, and a lot more. 

When he’s at home, Rob likes to create things like homemade kombucha and music.