Emotional context could make ads 40% more effective -Yahoo research

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 22 Mar, 2017
View comments Marketing
A new study commissioned by Yahoo has found that the impact of digital advertising could be improved by as much as 40% if consumers are reached when they’re in the right mood.

Emotional context could make digital ads more effective

In fact, a consumer’s mood was found to have almost the same effect on their likelihood to engage with digital ads as what they are doing at the time, meaning emotional context is almost as important for digital marketing as current activity.

The research, Receptivity of Emotions, is one of the most comprehensive studies to ever be conducted into the role of consumer emotions on their receptivity to advertising.

Carried out over a period of one week, the study tracked more than 18,000 mood data points from consumers in the US and the UK. Research was carried out using a dedicated app and followed up with interviews and an online survey of over 4,000 people in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. As a result of this insight, the Yahoo team was able to determine not just the importance of emotional context but at which times of day certain emotions are more prominent.

Key findings from the report include:

  • US and UK consumers are most dominantly upbeat – around 46% of the time
  • 67% of consumers would click on digital ads based on how they felt, while  71% of consumers would click on a digital ad based on what they were doing at a time
  • In an upbeat mood, consumers were found to be 24% more receptive to content in general, yet 40% more receptive to digital advertising specifically
  • In an upbeat state, consumers are 30% more likely to engage with video content
  • They are 28% more likely to engage with content marketing
  • And 21% more likely to engage with direct marketing

Nigel Clarkson, Yahoo UK managing director said:

“The idea of aiming to engage with consumers when they are feeling upbeat may seem obvious at first, but never before have we been able to appreciate the extent of the impact it can have on a campaign’s success. Nor have we had concrete insight into when during the day this emotional state is most likely, and what types of marketing will benefit most. These new insights reinforce the importance of context in marketing, and take it to a whole new level.”

Further findings include:

  • In both the UK and the US, consumers are most upbeat between 11am and 2pm
  • Mobile success is closely tied to emotional context, with those consumers in an upbeat mood 15% more likely to follow up immediately on a digital advert on their smartphone
  • Upbeat mobile users are also 25% more likely to class the digital advertising they are exposed to as providing a helpful or inspiring prompt

How can this be used to your advantage?

1. Begin to factor in mood
All digital marketers and advertisers know that to be successful, you need to:

  • reach the right person (be strong on your ad targeting),
  • at the right time (know when your audience is looking for your product or service)
  • on the right device (have a robust buyer personal and analytics process which tracks the consumer purchase cycle)

Yahoo’s Receptivity of Emotions study adds another layer to this strategy, with the consideration of consumer mood on top of those three other pillars.

2. Time your adverts to co-incide with the upbeat period
While thus far it’s been next to impossible to gauge sentiment at any given time, the results of this research provide a clear window, between 11am and 2pm where more US and UK consumers are in a more upbeat mood. This is backed up with the finding that in that mood, consumers are 40% more receptive to digital advertising.

3. Consider context
Tap into the upbeat mood and its impact on behaviour by creating ad text and other materials that mirror the sentiment.

4. Extrapolate the findings across other channels
The results of the study are not just specific to advertising, though they do illustrate the importance of timing digital ads to coincide with the upbeat late morning to early afternoon window. The receptivity to other forms of content, including articles and direct marketing also tracks up when the consumer is in an upbeat emotional state.

5. Don’t forget the importance of measurement
As with any changes made to your advertising campaigns, having a robust measurement framework in place is essential if you do adapt your methods to reflect this new research. Be careful not to rush in without any processes in place which will track whether or not your changes are for the better.

Read Yahoo’s report on the study here: http://yahoouk.tumblr.com/post/158387783771/emotional-context-could-make-digital-ads-40-more#.WNJW8PnyiUl

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