Digital Advertising Must Go Native

The notion that consumers hate advertisements is generally well-known and widely accepted. It’s a constant complaint when discussing pros and cons of such things as live television, mobile apps, mobile games, and media in general. But maybe it’s not advertisements themselves that are so bothersome to consumers.

An article by AJ Agrawal was published by Forbes on January 19, 2017, that discusses current and future digital advertising, focusing on one key idea:

“The truth is that users don’t hate advertisements. Rather, they hate fragmented user experiences.”

And there it is, folks! The reason people are so annoyed by ads in their digital space is because of how obtrusive they are. They interrupt our user experience, whether it’s in the form of a video ad you’re forced to wait through on YouTube or a pop-up while reading a Forbes article, which makes them an annoyance rather than the delivery of helpful information. Therefore, this is the opposite of effective marketing on the brand’s part.

According to HubSpot, the click through rate for display ads across all placements is just 0.06%. When reading this as consumers, that might not be very shocking, but as marketers it should be and we should take note. Even more alarming is that 50% of mobile ad clicks are reportedly accidental.

Agrawal’s article discusses several other numbers and statistics that note how ineffective digital marketing has become. According to him, the roots of the issue are 1) an enormous volume of digital ads, and 2) a general lack of storytelling.

Since the standard performance marketing formats are not really working anymore, Agrawal notes that the best way to reach current customers lies in a different digital advertising format: native ads.

The difference with native advertising is that the user experience is not interrupted abruptly to show an ad, the ad is included as a part of that experience. You may not have even noticed the native ads that have become a part of your Facebook feed, but they are there and they are tailored to you based on all that data about you that exists in the digital world.

The article notes other examples including local athletic footware ads during your run through Spotify and Amazon’s Alexa suggesting that you send flowers to your significant other on their birthday. These types of ads exist everywhere these days.

Since advertising is such a large part of marketing, this information is invaluable to us. In order to integrate our marketing communications, we must not only have a consistent message but we must make sure it is delivered in a consistent manner. The last thing you want your brand to be is an annoyance, so you must go native with your advertising efforts.

 

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