What Do Advertisers Want?

Despite expert predictions, online advertising has remained relatively strong throughout the recession. According to CMR, a Taylor Nelson Sofres company, spot TV ads fell 14.7% and Sunday newspaper ads fell 10.4 percent between the fourth quarter of 2000 and the third quarter of 2001, while online advertising investment lost only 7.8%.

Online advertising clearly holds promise according to respondents of a recent survey commissioned by I/PRO. The advertising professionals surveyed ranked the Internet far ahead of print, radio and television in its potential for flexibility, ease of performance measurement and speed of response. In a striking show of support for third party site measurement, nearly 90% of online advertisers agree or strongly agree that Web site visitor statistics should be validated by a third party.

Those respondents who advertise on the Internet see two key areas where improvement is needed most: measurement standards and targeting. Similarly, those who choose not to advertise online cite a lack of measurement standards as the biggest weakness of online advertising.

When asked to rank the accuracy of audience counts, respondents chose the Internet as often as television, a much more mature medium.

Advertisers also like the flexibility the Internet offers in regards to program design, with 47% saying it is the best in this area. Print is second with just 23% favoring it.

Predictably, measurement standards and more reliable targeting are the two greatest factors needed to make online advertising more effective, cited by 72% and 63% respectively.

The results of the survey are available at ipro.com in a white paper entitled "Ad Leaders Report: Assessing Measurement Systems Online and Off."

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