Time to Value User Experience with Online Ads

2015 10 13   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

The recent surge in attention to ad blockers and their implications for online marketing have shifted our focus to where it should have gone long ago – the user experience. Too bad so many of the resulting articles, which have had a field day recounting the many negatives, have been light on proposing workable solutions.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not just that the online experience is rife with lousy ads – Next On Consumers’ To-Block List: Content Marketing! (MediaPost, Oct. 5) – but that there are way too many of them, in all the wrong places, that don’t ever get my attention. They simply annoy me, so I glide on by, never even noticing them, other than their repulsive shapes. And I’m an ad guy!

Multiply that revulsion 100-fold for consumers, and you’ll begin to get a sense of the problem online advertising faces. Nice ad, lousy ad; it matters not. They’re intrusive, ill-planned and ill-placed. Their downward spiral of ineffectiveness is testament to their lack of relevance.

An item from AdExchanger (Mobile Consumers Use Browsers and Apps Equally – But For Different Reasons, Oct. 5) had a promising headline but a dearth of data about mobile Web usage vs. app usage – just a couple of tidbits and references to what others have said about mobile apps. My app usage is way up, and I often wish that, when I’m on a mobile page for one thing or another, that there was an app for it. I’d use it, skipping the browser experience entirely.

So what does this mean for online marketers? In a “Sell Sider” column for AdExchanger, Peter Spande, chief revenue officer for Business Insider, asserts: For Successful Publishers And Their Ads, Small Will Be The Next Big Thing (Oct. 2).

That’s nice, as far as it goes. At this point, however, I think moving to smaller, less memory-intensive ads would be kind of like closing the barn door after the horse had bolted. Even if they had less tracking baggage associated with them and presented themselves as truly engaging to the mobile user, it would be too little, too late!

I am an eternal optimist, though, so I’ll keep monitoring industry news for fresh, creative approaches to online marketing that value the consumer experience.