BOULDER, CO: While studies show that consumers frequently demand personalised and relevant communications, it appears that most also want to discover content for themselves rather than receiving content from others.

Rapt Media, an interactive video provider, polled 1,000 US consumers to uncover attitudes towards online ads and content with particular regard to personalised content and engagement.

The survey revealed that 43% believe online ads are not personalised to their interests, but almost two-thirds (62%) say the content they discover on their own is personalised to their interests.

Even if content is customised, a full 61% report that they still prefer to find it on their own and almost half (46%) say the content they find on their own influences their purchase decisions.

"Explicit content personalisation through choice and discovery builds trust, increases engagement, and delivers a truly valuable experience starting at the point of creation," said Erika Trautman, founder and CEO of Rapt Media.

"Millennials, in particular, are embracing the value of content discovery, forcing marketers to rethink the way content is created, distributed and consumed," she added.

Indeed, 42% of millennials – or consumers who reached adulthood around the year 2000 – say they would spend more time reading or viewing content if they could tailor it to their interests. That compares with just 28% of those aged over 45, Adweek reported.

Almost a third (30%) of millennials also say they would tell friends about a brand if it delivered personalised content to them, compared to just 18% of consumers aged over 30 and 8% of those aged over 60.

In addition, 60% of millennials report that they would be more likely to make a purchase after spending more time engaging with content versus 44% of respondents aged 30 or more.

But, while young people seem to be willing to engage with personalised content, brands will need to think carefully about how to reach them because 57% of this generation say they block ad content if they perceive it to be too pushy.

That compares with 46% of all respondents, nearly all of whom (95%) say they take some form of action to avoid seeing or receiving ads.

And two-thirds (67%) of all survey participants complain that brands send too much marketing information, more than half (55%) say it is not interesting or relevant to them, while 42% simply don't trust marketing messages.

Data sourced from Rapt Media; additional content by Warc staff