College of Business > News & Events > Research Probes Effectiveness of Personalized Advertising

Research Probes Effectiveness of Personalized Advertising

Assistant Prof. Khadija Ali Vakeel
Photo by Kathy Hillegonds
ePaul Assistant Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship Khadija Ali Vakeel​ is a trained computer scientist who uses her technology expertise to uncover insights about consumer behavior. Her innovative scholarship has won several awards, and a study she co-authored was named the most influential research of the year by the editors of the Journal of Advertising.

That study, “The Role of Ad Sequence and Privacy Concerns in Personalized Advertising: An Eye-Tracking Study into Synced Advertising Effects,” examines the reaction of consumers to synched advertising, a relatively new marketing strategy in which ads are personalized for consumers based on their concurrent media usage—in this case, watching television while using a computer tablet. 

Vakeel and her coauthors, Assistant Professor Claire Segijn of the University of Minnesota and Associate Professor Hilde A. M. Voorveld of the University of Amsterdam, used eye-tracking software to measure the reactions of consumers to personalized ads that were synched across their televisions and tablets.

“The study aims to empirically examine the effect of synced advertising on consumers’ cognitive advertising responses,” Vakeel explains. “More specifically, because the timing of the ad is the key defining characteristic of synced advertising, we explore the impact on consumers’ attention and memory by showing a tablet ad before, during and after a TV commercial for the same brand. Furthermore, the study examines the role of privacy concerns as a personal characteristic.”

Takeaways from the study’s results included:

  • Placing two ads simultaneously for the same brand resulted in the most attention toward both ads.
  • Consumers with higher (versus lower) privacy concerns paid less attention to the tablet ad when it was shown simultaneously with the TV commercial.

“It is important to start exploring factors that could influence the effectiveness and boundary conditions of synced advertising because this strategy is becoming more common in the industry,” Vakeel says. “Overall, this study is essential due to the prevalence of new strategies for personalized advertisements based on concurrent media usage.”