Marketers focusing on ad sentiment and relevance make gains over adblocking through improved user experience

Digital ads

While digital advertising dominates our multi screen world, taking a closer look at user experience is key to understanding how consumers feel towards the ads they see online.

A survey by the programmatic platform Choozle looked at adblocking and overall ad sentiment in particular and found that nearly 39% of ads were bounced due to either not having a smartphone or using an adblocker.

The report notes that 53% of respondents reported using an adblocker, which is in line with other industry reports. To break it down further, respondents aged 30-44 reported the highest use of an adblocker (62%), and those aged 60+ reported the lowest use (47%).

Additionally, the survey notes that according to behavior and engagement towards digital advertising, 41% of users claim they never click on any ads with 19% of users implying that they click on one in every ten ads they see. Further, 41% of users say they rarely trust that the ads they’re shown are true and 54% of users believe that less than half of the ads they see are true.

In the display advertising world, adblocking is increasing as consumers try to avoid viewing ads they see as intrusive or disruptive to their experiences online. Marketers need to focus more efforts on delivering an improved ad experience, the report suggests with more emphasis on the creative development and strategy execution. To ensure that marketers are thinking about the overall experience for the user, it is important to look at a consumer’s sentiment towards digital advertising as a natural precursor to the use of adblockers.

Based on the study, one in three dislike online ads, although 55% reported they were “neutral”towards online ads. Additionally, the online ad sentiment varied with age. The older the user, the more likely they were to dislike online ads – 44% of users 60 and over compared to 28% of users 18-29, did not like online ads. Overall, 81% of users would rather be shown ads on their computer than their smartphone and women tended to have a stronger affinity for online ads than men.

The study found some of the biggest reason users did not like online ads was the same ad is shown multiple times, regardless of the user’s interest. They disliked the pop up on the screen and the fact they often accidentally clicked on the ad without knowing it. Users like online ads because they enjoyed the exposure to new products, the coupons or sales, the ads for products they were interested in or the relevance to them individually.

The study suggests that marketers should track how campaigns are performing in real time but also remember to keep the user in mind. The more advertisements placed with no thought towards user experience, the more challenging it is to gain an interaction. Better creatives, better targeting and frequency and recency of ads displayed are key draws for a better user experience.

The study suggests ads with a call to action stating what it is the advertiser wants the consumer to do (Read More, Download Now, etc.) are tips for better results of a display ad. Further, ads that have engage and covert the user are essential so retargeting the same customers who purchased a product can be a turn off.

Finally, the pop up ad on the side of the screen is likely to get ignored over time. To ensure a better user experience it is important to check the frequency and recency of the ads being displayed.

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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