By Lou Mastria
Do consumers like interest-based advertising? In a word, yes.
Our own dedicated consumer surveys on this point, conducted independently by the respected research firm Zogby Analytics, bear this out. Once consumers see the value exchange inherent with interest-based ads, they largely understand and are supportive of it (our most recent survey, October 2013).
Our full disclosure of our survey questions is part of a culture of transparency built into the DAA Principles and program.
However, in the world of survey research, that disclosure is vital to credibility – which is why we are surprised that one recently published survey, critical of online advertising, was completely opaque in its methodology, that of Consumer Reports.
In our view, it's unfortunate that Consumer Reports has chosen to withhold its methodology and questions for this consumer survey, since those factors are critical in reading and fully understanding results.
The two Zogby Analytics surveys commissioned by the Digital Advertising Alliance to date, among other industry research in the field, make clear that users place great value on ad-supported Internet content, appreciate ads relevant to their interests and strongly oppose paying out of pocket for the ad-supported Internet content they currently enjoy.
Both Zogby surveys had margins of error of +/- 3.2 percent and were published with the full list of questions posed to respondents.
How survey research is conducted is an important part of the full story – sometimes as important as the results themselves. The two simply must go together: that's why DAA stands by the consumer surveys we commission: they are always conducted independently, with survey methodology fully transparent to provide full context on the results presented.