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Internet / Mobile / Social Media

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Disadvantages

Lack of Reach:  Internet use among the U.S. population is still limited as only 9 in 10 adults use the internet. Therefore a segment of the population will not be reached by internet/mobile/or socials media ads. 

(Source: Pew Research Center, Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet 2018)

As the adoption of traditional broadband service has slowed in recent years, a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today one-in-five American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.

Reliance on smartphones for online access is especially common among younger adults, non-whites and lower-income Americans.

In 2018 about 20% of US adults who do not use broadband at home own smartphones.

(Source: Pew Research Center, Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet 2018)

Advertising is regarded as intrusive by consumers

Fragmented Audience:  The numerous TV channels available and large number of radio stations available to consumers in any given market are miniscule compared to the number of sites available to online audiences.

Buying Challenges:

  • Selling practices vary widely, including scheduling patterns, post-buy analysis
  • Budgeting:  Must determine whether online placement is an advertisement or a promotional budget item.
  • Cost:  CPMs are relatively high for ads that are intrusive or highly-targeted.
  • Special creative may be required to maximize impact

Size of ads and length of messages is still limited by size of screen, bandwidth

Accidental click-thru by the consumer will increase the cost of the ad to the marketer but don’t expose the consumer to the message

Exposure:  Consumer connection with content and placement varies widely from site to site.

Measurement and Accountability:  Research across the industry is still nascent and many sites and services employ unconventional and/or unreliable metrics to define audience and impact.  Additionally, while it’s a given that online ads have the ability to motivate consumers, proving efficiency remains elusive.  Concern has grown across the industry in recent years regarding fraudulent measurement and reporting of consumer exposures to advertising.

Privacy laws and restrictions put some limitations on natural tracking capabilities

Environment:  Clutter is a major problem for online advertisers.  Sites offer too many units, with little consistency or standards across all sites.  Cluttered pages may annoy online users, and many ads are not seen at all.

Advertising Aversion:  Online ads such as pop-ups, banners are viewed by many consumers as too intrusive.  Blockers and other forms of avoidance are a problem for advertisers. 

Fraud:  With measurement minimal or lacking altogether, the digital industry must confront controversy regarding criminal activity surrounding ads, and whether actual consumers or “bots” have actually accessed ads online.

Do Not Track Law:  It is illegal for advertisers, retailers, etc., to track consumers’ movements across the Internet. 

Privacy issues:  In addition to the legality of the practice, consumers are not receptive to online advertisers, retailers, etc., tracking them.  Many find ads following them across sites to be “creepy” or offensive, even “evil.”

Mobile Disadvantages

Mobile devices (phones, tablets) haven’t attained yet 100% penetration among the U.S. population

Advertising is regarded as intrusive by consumers

Size of ads and length of messages is still limited by size of screen, bandwidth

Accidental click-thru by the consumer will increase the cost of the ad to the marketer but don’t expose the consumer to the message

Privacy laws and restrictions put some limitations on natural tracking capabilities


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