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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

All Equal Online? Effects of Demographics in Search Engine Advertising

Published: May 28, 2019


Carsten Schultz, University of Hagen


Search Engine Advertising; Demographics; Consumer Behaviour


The digital world may treat its users equally, however, do consumers behave similarly? The present study analysis whether consumer demographics result in performance differences in search engine advertising. Specifically, this study analysis the effects of age, gender, and devices on data from a real search engine advertising campaign. The results indicate that differences in age and gender follow the underlying target group. However, there is a considerable performance difference in comparison between consumers who provide access to such profile data and consumers who provide no such data. Identifiable consumers are more likely to interact with the advertisement and the underlying company for lower average advertising costs. Further, the use of mobile devices results in lower click-through rate and conversion rates than using desktops and tablets. Price effects are different on click and conversion level indicating that advertisers need to carefully consider effects of quantity, price, and quality dimensions.