Message to Marketers: It’s Time to Pay Attention to the Ad Experience
It’s no secret that today’s consumer expects tailored experiences whenever they choose and wherever they may be — in-person, online, or on-the-go. Advertising experiences should be no exception. With the seemingly infinite brands and services available to consumers, advertisers must make a meaningful connection in the ad experience, as it is often the first opportunity for a consumer to engage the brand.
Unfortunately, marketers are not taking advantage of these critical moments, and instead are delivering repetitive messaging throughout multiple stages of the buyer journey, resulting in a continual rise in negative consumer sentiment toward ads among consumers. In the past few years, brands have been focusing more on the impact of ad creative by investing resources that improve the ability to deliver relevant ads. However, this Q3 report demonstrates that there is still a lot of work to do.
Most importantly we observed that the consequences of maintaining the status quo are high, challenging brand equity. 73% of consumers feel negatively toward brands with repetitive messaging — a growth of 15% since the last report. Also, nearly three-quarters of consumers report that they do not pay attention to ads, even on Facebook and YouTube — platforms known for high time-spent and engagement. This lack of consumer attention is understandable given 42% feel digital ads are irrelevant. This sentiment is even more evident in digital video.
While the sight, sound, and motion of video ads are arguably more engaging than banner ads, consumers do not find value in watching, and will always skip ads when given the opportunity. Even when encountering non-skippable video ads, over half of consumers will abandon the ad within 20 seconds, despite having to forgo post-ad content. Advertisers would be wise to focus on the most important content in the first 5 seconds of the ad. Since YouTube popularized ad-skipping after 5 seconds, it has become critical for video ads to deliver value within this timeframe as it’s highly likely they will be skipped.
Consumers have also grown tired of ads that simply re-market products that were previously shopped for, with 60% feeling negatively towards this ad type, a trend that has continued over the past four quarters. Marketers must pay attention to this trend as they are alienating the people they are trying to woo.
Putting a renewed focus on tailoring ad creative to audiences is imperative to avoid further declines in consumer sentiment. Consumers have voiced that standard retargeting is no longer an adequate form of personalization. After all, browsing (shopping) history is only one dimension of consumer behavior. There are many data points available to advertisers that can better define the target consumer. Marketers have access to anonymous data about their customers, but often struggle to use this data effectively for advertising due to the complexity of the ecosystem. An Ad Experience Platform is an effective way for marketers to overcome their adtech struggles, simplifying the design and delivery of data-driven ad creative at scale. With more direct control over the process and components, marketers will be able to effectively utilize their customer data to deliver relevant and valuable advertising.
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