User-centric Digital Advertising: Challenges and Potentials


Digital advertising has become one of the most essential advertising media. Mobile formats such as social media marketing, influencer marketing, and in-app marketing, in particular, reach millions of potential customers and account for approximately half of global advertising revenues. Spending on digital advertising in the United States alone is projected to reach €290.10 billion in 2023 (€16.3 billion in Germany), and it continues to rise, with expenditures expected to grow by about 150% by 2027. At the same time, the burden of digital advertising on users is also increasing, threatening the effectiveness of advertising media.

In this project, we analyze the potentials and challenges arising from new forms of advertising and how users respond to these forms using scientifically grounded theories and methods. We adopt a user-centric perspective that places users at the center of our analysis. This allows us to understand, categorize, and transparently explain the mechanisms and effectiveness of advertising. It also provides valuable insights for the industry, demonstrating the need to tailor advertising to users' needs.


The results of our project show, among other things, that herd behavior on social media can lead people close to us to influence us to like or purchase a product. Furthermore, our findings indicate that influencers establish emotional connections with their followers and use them to promote specific products. They subconsciously generate a desire to purchase because users feel they are doing something good for themselves. Additionally, we show that concerns about security and privacy violations caused by digital advertisements, as well as unwanted distractions and productivity losses, are increasingly causing users to consciously avoid advertising or prevent the delivery of ads through ad blockers. This development is critical from the perspective of advertisers and the numerous ad-based (i.e., free) websites and business models on the Internet. Our results suggest that users can be willing to receive ads again by better-informing users about the benefits of advertising, such as gaining free access to websites and services.

Ausgewählte Veröffentlichungen

  • Mattke, J., Maier, C., Reis, L., and Weitzel, T. (2020)
    Herd behavior in social media: The role of Facebook likes, strength of ties, and expertise
    Information & Management (57:8), 103370, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)
  • Mattke, J., Maier, C., Reis, L., and Weitzel, T. (2021)
    In-app advertising: a two-step qualitative comparative analysis to explain clicking behavior
    European Journal of Marketing (55:8), p.2146-2173, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: C)
  • Mattke, J., Müller, L., and Maier, C. (2019)
    Paid, Owned and Earned Media: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis revealing Attributes Influencing Consumer's Brand Attitude in Social Media
    Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii
  • Mattke, J., Müller, L., and Maier, C. (2018)
    Why do Individuals Avoid Social Media Advertising: A Qualitative Comparison Analysis Study
    Proceedings of the 26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)
  • Mattke, J., Müller, L., Maier, C., and Graser, H. (2018)
    Avoidance of Social Media Advertising: A Latent Profile Analysis
    Proceedings of the 18th ACM SIGMIS Conference on Computers and People Research
  • Müller, L., Mattke, J., Maier, C., and Weitzel, T. (2017)
    The Curse of Mobile Marketing: A Mixed Methods Study on Individuals' Switch to Mobile Ad Blockers
    Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Seoul, Korea