SOURCE: Prospectiv

May 13, 2008 08:03 ET

Eighty-Seven Percent of Consumers Say Advertisements on Social Networks Not Speaking to Them, According to Prospectiv Survey

Consumer Opinions Show Openness to Ads, but Only If They Are Targeted to Their Specific Interests and Preferences

WAKEFIELD, MA--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - As the industry debate continues about the relevance and effectiveness of advertising within social networking sites, recent poll results shed some light on consumer opinions about these issues. Prospectiv's poll of nearly 800 users of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Hi5 and others reveals that 87 percent surveyed feel that very few (58 percent) or none (29 percent) of the ads and offers they're currently seeing on social networking sites match their specific interests and preferences. Additional findings indicate that despite much debate about the acceptance of advertisements on social networks, 56 percent polled said the quality of their online experience would be improved if social networking sites provided more targeted advertisements and offers tailored to their specific interests and preferences.

Prospectiv (http://www.prospectiv.com), a provider of online customer acquisition solutions to leading consumer brands, is the owner of the online properties Eversave.com and Healthier.com, and operates a lead generation platform used by publishers across the Web.

What Consumers Want From Advertisements

According to the survey, consumers said the types of tailored ads and offers they would respond to are:

--  One-off coupons and discount offers from the brands and products they
    buy (62 percent)
--  E-newsletters featuring coupons, discounts, news and tips about
    favorite brands (24 percent)
--  Invitations to join interactive email groups, online forums and social
    networks for sharing and communicating (14 percent)
    

Consumer Opinions of Current Advertisements

Prospectiv's poll results show that although members of social networking sites are open to receiving offers and promotions from marketers, the majority of the advertisements currently on social networks are not speaking to their needs, preferences or specific interests. The survey has shown:

--  Very few ads match consumers' interests and preferences (58 percent)
--  None of the ads match consumers' interests and preferences (29
    percent)
--  Most ads match consumers' interests and preferences (13 percent)
    

Because ads are not matching consumers' interests, consumers are not clicking on them. The survey has shown that more than half (54 percent) of consumers never click on advertisements on social networks, 39 percent of consumers occasionally will respond to ads and only 7 percent will often respond to ads.

Additionally, 85 percent of consumers said they are more likely to join a free social networking site supported by advertisements and offers targeted to their interests rather than a paid social networking site without commercial advertisements.

"These poll results clarify that members of social networking sites are open to offers and promotions as long as they are targeted to their interests," said Jere Doyle, Prospectiv's CEO. "The next step for the web publishing industry seeking to monetize their online communities is to improve ad relevance, and the best way to do this is to work with online lead generation providers and ad networks that have the brand relationships, technologies and services to ensure that the ads presented are tailored to their audience's needs and wants."

About Prospectiv's Consumer Preference Index (CPI):

Prospectiv has access to millions of consumers through its online Web communities, Eversave.com and Healthier.com, as well as from its broad network of publishers. Prospectiv is able to compile insightful survey data from a diverse panel of consumers on a wide variety of topics relevant to advertisers and marketers. Prospectiv compiles this data using its advanced polling and survey technology across the Web.

About Prospectiv:

Prospectiv is a pioneer in the lead generation industry and provides customer acquisition and email marketing solutions to leading consumer brands. The company specializes in finding, engaging and acquiring consumers interested in leading advertiser's brands and products and converting them to long-term profitable customers. Prospectiv generates more than 50 million pre-qualified leads per year on a pay-for-results basis for clients, including many Fortune 1000 companies such as Procter and Gamble, Wal-Mart, Pfizer, Disney, Nestle and Schering-Plough. Prospectiv operates several Web properties, including Eversave.com, and Healthier.com, and also provides leading publishers with a lead generation platform that creates a significant incremental revenue stream from their Web site traffic. Founded in 1999, Prospectiv is privately held and is based in Woburn, Ma. For more information, please visit http://www.prospectiv.com

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