Advertising Platform Preferences: What Gaps Between Consumers & Advertisers Can Teach Us

Earlier this month, Kantar published its third annual Media Reactions study showing how marketers and consumers ranked their favorite advertising platforms. 

The highlights: Amazon, consumers’ top-ranked platform, doesn’t crack the marketers’ list at all, and vice versa with marketing favorite Instagram and third-place YouTube. Consumers also rank TikTok, Spotify, and Snapchat significantly higher than marketers do.

So what does that tell us? Let’s look at what marketers can learn from the study – and what the platforms themselves can do to entice marketers to spend money where consumers are already engaging.

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What Marketers Can Learn

First, marketers looking at this study should recognize in general that there’s a lot of opportunity and room for testing new platforms outside of what they’ve been doing for the last few years. If one platform isn’t working well for their business or audience, it doesn’t mean digital advertising as a whole isn’t meant for them. Consumers are constantly changing how they engage and consume content and where they spend their time. At the end of the day, successful marketing is about meeting your target audience where they’re spending time and consuming content so when the time is right, your brand is top of mind. 

Second, if your business is selling any type of product, it’s kind of a no-brainer at this point that you should be advertising on Amazon. Users go to Amazon with the intention of shopping and buying things; on many of marketers’ favorite channels, including Instagram and YouTube, users are just consuming content and catching up on the lives of their friends/family/people they follow. Amazon’s reviews capability also automatically gives the platform a sense of trust and social proof because users can scroll through and read opinions of real consumers like them, not just what is being sold to them in the ad. Even negative reviews can build a sense of trust with consumers as they’re more likely to feel that the product being sold is genuine. 


What Advertising Platforms Can Learn

Although TikTok is more popular with consumers than it is with advertisers, the fact that it’s closing the gap so quickly is a sign that the platform is working hard on getting its advertising functionality up to speed.

In contrast, both Snapchat’s and Spotify’s advertising features and tracking capabilities are really lagging. Amazon, despite its size and maturity, also lacks the reporting and optimization features of Google and Facebook (because it’s a self-contained beast, it doesn’t shed any light on the full purchase journey). Advertisers won’t spend where they don’t have control or visibility into performance, so improving those would give those platforms a huge boost in advertising popularity and revenue.

The other big piece is that Snapchat, Spotify, and Amazon provide extremely limited advertising support, which disincentivizes marketers looking to invest. More investment in support should be a priority for platforms trying to entice advertisers to spend.

Facebook and Instagram have seen revenue take a hit in the wake of iOS14, which eroded their data/tracking abilities. But all platforms suffered similar effects. Ultimately, Facebook/Instagram (and Google/YouTube, which also rank extremely high for advertisers) offer highly advanced targeting and scope, and they invest a ton in making marketers’ lives easier. Emerging platforms should take note.



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