Everyone agrees that ads are intrusive—but if we have to be exposed to them, then we expect them to at least be pertinent to us and our lifestyles. Indeed, consumers expect ads to be relevant, according to a new survey from personalized video ad firm Clinch. And consumers don’t mind doing their part to make it happen: nearly two-thirds (64 percent) are comfortable with brands collecting some form of data—from demographic to social media profile information—to deliver a more relevant, personalized ad experience.

Although the technology is available for brands to leverage data to reach consumers in more personalized ways, many brands aren’t tapping into this capability. When asked if consumers feel that ads on social media are personalized or tailored for them, less than a third (31 percent) said that ads are tailored to them the majority of the time (75 percent of the time or more). In addition, 35 percent indicated that they see the same ad too many times—a sign that brands aren’t using the data being collected to their full advantage.

“Not recognizing the power of personalization is a big misstep among marketers,” said Oz Etzioni, CEO of Clinch, in a news release. “The data, creative tools and technology are available. Brands need to commit to building personalization-first strategies to create more meaningful consumer connections.”

Social media: A key personalization platform

With rich consumer data and pioneering ad tools, it’s no surprise that social media platforms are an effective personalization advertising channel.

When it comes to evaluating which social media platforms are most effective at reaching consumers, the majority of consumers cited that Facebook was most effective (79 percent), followed by Instagram (56 percent) and YouTube (47 percent). A third of consumers said that a combination of static and video ads on social media influenced them to make a purchase.

“Personalization needs to be pervasive across platforms and ad units. Unifying data and creative to create holistic campaigns is critical as consumers move through their digital lives consuming all different types of content throughout their day,” said Etzioni.

When it comes to social media, well-executed campaigns are increasingly driving direct sales

According to the survey, 70 percent of consumers have purchased a product or service after seeing an ad on social media. In fact, more than half (57 percent) purchased something in the past 12 months and, of those consumers, 60 percent have purchased between two and five products as a result of social media ads.

However, purchasing a product isn’t the only action that consumers can take

After being exposed to an ad, 80 percent of consumers reported that they have used a search engine to find the product, and 61 percent indicated that they have visited a physical store location.

“While there is no question that social ads are powerful, marketers must amp up their creative strategy. An effective social media video shouldn’t feel like an ad at all,” Etzioni added. “It should be personalized to the viewer and create an experience, rather than just deliver a sales message. Brands who follow this approach will not only see a direct sales lift, they will also see increases in search and in-store traffic, as well.”

Clinch surveyed 535 consumers in the U.S. ranging from 18 to 60 years old. The survey was conducted during October 2018 via SurveyMonkey.

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