Recently, we covered how consumers feel about digital advertising in general, and found out that people prefer to avoid it if possible and convenient.
Today, we’ll look at new data from Forrester Consulting that explores sentiment around mobile ads specifically. Advertisers should listen up because A) mobile is a fast-growing channel that’s essential to ROI and B) according to consumers, there is definitely room for improving mobile ads.
Understanding How People Use Mobile and See Mobile Ads
Looking back to a post we did on the micro-moments mobile shoppers experience, we remember that consumers constantly use their mobile devices to research and buy. They are exposed to ads in short, frequent shopping tasks, rather than in just a few long shopping sessions.
If you’re hoping to drive local traffic, be aware that mobile searches for nearby locations are increasing. Beyond that, shoppers continue using their phones when they’re in the stores to compare prices and read reviews. This is all to say that mobile shoppers are active everywhere, and it’s important to cater to their journey when you launch ad campaigns.
Since we just came through the holiday season, and mobile advertisers might already be mulling over what they’ve learned for next year, we’ll also simply mention that holiday shopping is certainly impacted by mobile advertising:
Positive User Experience Is Vital in Mobile Advertising
On to the Forrester report. While advertisers jump on the mobile advertising bandwagon, it seems many of them have work to do to deliver a better, more relevant experience.
Among Forrester’s key findings is that delivering poor ads comes at a cost:
Delivering ads with a poor experience threatens brand results. What’s at stake? Millions of media dollars wasted, sunk costs of ad development and creation, and harm to the brand image. And looking across the ad landscape broadly, poor mobile ad experiences threaten the advertising ecosystem itself, leading to an increased use of ad blocking technology and depriving publishers of the ability to monetize consumer traffic.
So the ramifications of bad ads aren’t only threatening to one product or campaign, or even to one brand, but to mobile advertising itself. That’s some responsibility.
Despite this knowledge, and a heavy focus on mobile advertising, more than 66 percent of brand advertisers think at least half of their mobile advertising efforts aren’t successfully achieving goals.
One problem is negative mobile ad experiences, which can be damaging to brand perception and future business. Consumers named three ways mobile ads promote negative experiences, and lead to their own 73 percent user experience failure rate:
Interestingly, companies aren’t addressing these issues with a focus on the creative content of their ads. The majority say they don’t want to be annoying, irrelevant, repetitive or interruptive, yet only 24 percent make ad creative and content assembly the No. 1 priority.
This negligence is bad for the bottom line of individual brands. Money is spent for the digital ad space, as well as on the professionals creating the ads. If most ads aren’t promoting a positive experience, or even being seen in the first place (due to ad blockers), that money is wasted.
According to the Forrester data, advertisers estimate that 55 percent of ads run in the past 12 months were ineffective. This means that 55 cents of every dollar spent aren’t producing tangible value. Whether your budget is in the hundreds or in the millions, that’s significant.
Yet, the largest companies are most concerned about the damage to the perception of their brand—not how much money might get wasted. While companies with fewer than 10,000 employees focus their greatest concerns on spend, those with more than 10,000 employees are far more concerned about brand perception:
3 Creative Factors for Creating a Positive Mobile Ad Experience
To create effective ads, advertisers must make ad type, creative, layout and delivery work together for that positive consumer experience. Forrester’s data suggests the following creative factors for achieving that:
- Disruption-minimizing formats balances the arts of getting user attention with not disrupting what they’re currently doing. Advertisers and consumers agree that native ads create the best experience, such as using video ads for video watchers (and avoiding video ads for users trying to read the news without audible distraction).
- Relevant messaging addresses the rising consumer expectation for personalized ads, which advertisers can promote using data such as user location and local weather.
- Engaging content caters to the user who is accustomed to being entertained by videos and games. In Forrester’s survey, 41 percent of consumers say video ads are the kinds of ads they most want to engage with.
Successful mobile advertising is a must for any advertisers hoping to make it in the digital space locally, nationally, seasonally or otherwise.
Fostering a positive user experience is central to mobile advertising success, and advertisers should focus on improving their creative efforts through format, messaging and engagement. These are the efforts that can save your bottom line and brand perception.