Ads can be annoying, especially on mobile. But, according to research IAB UK the main source of annoyance for consumers using mobile is not the ads themselves, but the fact that a lot of them aren’t optimised for the format.
12,000 UK adults were asked about their feelings towards mobile advertising, and the vast majority of them are in favour of ads in order to keep online content free. 84% prefer ads to paying for an ad-free experience.
“A sustainable future is about making the experience work for everyone in the digital ecosystem, most importantly, people,” said Tim Elkington, Chief Digital Officer at IAB UK.
“Context is not a new concept, but we are still seeing a lot of ads not fit for purpose, and this report shows there are big benefits for brands that optimise for smartphones.”
The biggest factor that is likely to squander consumer goodwill towards ads is anything that makes whatever they are trying to do more difficult to do. Clunky, screen-filling ads that have people furiously jabbing at their screens are not likely to end in a conversion, unless by accident.
“When it comes to mobile, brands often use TV ads or desktop creative for a mobile environment and expect it to work. This is not the right approach and never will be,” said Ben Phillips, Global Head of Mobile, at MediaCom.
The benefits of optimisation
78% of the respondents reported to being regularly annoyed by ads that obviously not tailored for their device. And, it is not just advertisers that consumers blame for the problem, 37% also point a finger at the website or platform and 33% blame the brand itself.
The difference in performance between optimised and non-optimised ads is stark. IAB UK found a significant percentage increase in key brand metrics like preference (+44%), brand consideration (+56%), trust (+33%) and likelihood to find out more (+50%).
It is perhaps a pretty common-sense observation that ads formatted towards mobile devices perform better with mobile users, but there is evidently a large number of brands that haven’t realised this.
“Let’s be clear, experience matters. Most people don’t dislike advertising, they dislike bad advertising experiences. In a time where it has never been more important to respect context and provide value in return for people’s attention, being fit for purpose is undoubtedly a win-win for advertisers and the user,” said Nathan Cook, Global Director, Advertising Innovation at Unilever Global Marketing.