Consumers are reclaiming control of their online experience, especially on mobile.
Not only are they swiftly scrolling past any ad that doesn’t engage them with a clear and succinct call to action, but also preventing the ads from appearing in the first place; with 60% percent of global ad blocking activity – equal to 308 million devices – now taking place on mobile.
Add to this enhanced data rights under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it feels as though we could be entering a new age of the ‘un-interruptible’ consumer, where it will be increasingly difficult for brands to break through the noise and reach their target audiences.
Unquestionably, the time has come to start providing a better user experience by utilising smarter advertising techniques – such as native dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) – that engage audiences without disrupting their planned journey or raising privacy concerns.
The question is: how exactly have audience attitudes towards advertising changed, and what can advanced tools do to help create a better experience for all?
The challenge: rising online expectations
Mobile marketing is in the spotlight, with the number of smartphone users forecast to rise to 2.5 billion by 2019. Additionally, where mobile was once reserved for research and browsing, it has now increasingly become the device on which customers convert, with m-commerce driving up sales for retailers.
However, this increased digital access on mobile has created greater competition between brands to win audience attention. Advertisers are still struggling to perfect the tough balancing act between delivering ads that instantly adapt to surrounding editorial content while creating minimal disruption. As a result, 11.4 million Internet users, including those on mobile, were using ad-blocking software by the end of 2017.
But the future is not bleak. A recent whitepaper from Tyntech has revealed 80 percent of consumers are more likely to engage with a brand if the company offers a personalised experience such as offers or messaging based on location preferences.
So achieving the ideal path to conversion might not be as far off as first anticipated, providing advertisers rethink their mobile marketing strategy and invest in ads that are tailored to the consumer’s interests.
The solution to reaching the un-interruptible consumer
Just because today’s consumers are more selective about the content they interact with, doesn’t mean they are opposed to ads. Brands simply need to realise that standing out from the crowd isn’t a case of serving the largest and brashest ads, or -‘popping up’ when a consumer is busy doing something else. Instead, they must aim to offer messages that seamlessly integrate with content being viewed and the mobile landscape.
By drawing on the value of technology such as native DCO – which allows ad content to be optimised to best suit a specific viewer in real time – brands can engage today’s mobile consumers with clear and concise messages, while still retaining the sophistication of modern techniques such as personalisation.
This empowers advertisers to replace ‘generic’, impersonal ad campaigns with contextually relevant messages that cut through the noise and safeguard the future of storytelling on mobile.
When placing content within a relevant context, advertisers not only have a better chance of reaching an audience that is interested in their messaging, but are also much more likely to engage them. Native DCO pushes this to the next level of effectiveness by allowing the content to be edited in real time to ensure it is as impactful as possible.
For example, it may be that the reader is viewing an article about the top five European holidays on a rainy day and by the time they’re on a different webpage, the next ad creative they see is focused around tackling the ‘rainy day blues’.
Additionally, ads can be optimised to suit the device the consumer is using. If ads aren’t designed for mobile, consumer frustration can be greater – particularly when it comes to issues commonly caused by large desktop ads, such as slow load times and obscured content. For instance, in the UK tech industry alone, it takes an average of 10.6 seconds to load an ad on mobile. Yet while this might be the UK norm, according to Google the recommended loading time for 2018 is under three seconds.
Mobile continues to have a great influence across the digital landscape. But the age of convenience means customers expect all interactions to suit their own needs and will be switched from off ads that don’t do this.
As we settle into Q3 of 2018, marketers need to focus on ways of adapting to the savvy digitally-focused consumer and provide small-screen solutions, such as native DCO, that add to the content experience instead of distracting from it.