An examination of personalization in digital advertising
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Paid advertisements on social media have become a powerful way for marketers to reach their target audiences. This study addresses how millennials experience, interact with, and react to personalized advertisements on Facebook, as well as what motivates them to click on them. A hybrid qualitative design, involving data collection through the use of a think-aloud observation method, was paired with semi-structured interviews from 12 study participants. Findings showed that millennials do not seek out personalized advertisements on Facebook intentionally, and only interact with them when it involves a personal benefit. However, in order for this to happen, advertisements must first grab their attention through text and imagery that feature an element of mystery, and other details like pricing. This study is important because findings help fill a gap in the existing literature on the topic of digital advertising, and serve as a set of best practices for advertising professionals.