Over the past few years, the Digital Advertising landscape has vastly changed. In fact, this year for the first time, digital ad spending surpassed traditional ad spending, signaling a tipping point for the industry. But, this does not mean that the same Digital Advertising strategies that have been popular for years are going to remain consistently successful. Take banner ads for example; the average consumer is served more than 1,700 banner ads every month, but only views about half of them. When banner ads were first introduced in the 90s, they had an average click-through rate (CTR) of 44%, but with the variety of other strategies available, the average CTR is now just .06%.
Additionally, 71% of Americans feel ads are more intrusive now than they were three years ago, likely a result of hyper-targeting advertising models rooted in data collection. Yet, only 29% of consumers agree that handing over their data resulted in better products or services, proving the time for stellar results from invasive advertising tactics may be over.
So where does success lie with consumers in today’s advertising landscape? A great example of a platform that has found success with less intrusive forms of advertising is Pinterest. By seamlessly integrating its ads to blend in with the pin format, they have seen major conversion – 48% of consumers now use it for finding and shopping for products.
Intrusion-lite advertising may be the key to keeping consumers engaged–let’s explore why this format is the future of digital ads.
With data breaches and privacy concerns running rampant in the tech industry, consumer trust has waned. In fact, 63% of consumers believe their personal information is vulnerable to a security breach and 59% don’t believe companies have their best interests in mind. Consumers have been exposed to broad micro-targeting based on previous private interactions, which creates a major creep-factor and can make consumers skeptical of brands’ ability to keep information secure. What’s more, 39% of consumers believe ads create security concerns.
Providing the ability to opt-out of targeted advertising or showing less intrusive ads through interest-based targeting that doesn’t rely on personally identifiable information can help increase brand trust and create engagements that will establish customer loyalty.
Despite consumers’ lack of enthusiasm around intrusive ads, most consumers don’t dislike ads altogether, and many even find them helpful. In fact, 83% of consumers agree that not all ads are bad, but they want to filter out the really obnoxious ones. Creating relevant content relies on how well the ads are integrated with a consumer’s natural purchasing patterns.
For example, Pinterest integrates its ads to look just like the pins on the rest of the platform, making the format feel free of intrusion, as consumers are opting to view content on that subject. Because the pins typically link back to the products featured, if a consumer is looking to buy the item, it makes the path to purchase much more convenient.
There is a huge opportunity for brands to better engage their customers through one-to-one interactions. Brands that advertise on interactive platforms, such as messaging apps, can focus on making meaningful connections with consumers through private interactions by allowing consumers to “opt-in” to communication with a brand by actively choosing to interact with them. That interaction may be as simple as following a brand, subscribing to a channel or opting in to messaging from a brand. When a consumer makes the first move to engage with a brand, further interactions will feel much more organic, thus less intrusive, creating a better overall impression of the brand and heightening loyalty.
As consumer trust continues to be fragmented by intrusive advertising and privacy concerns, brands should reconsider where and how they’re advertising to consumers for the best ROI. By curbing privacy concerns, providing relevant content and engaging in one-to-one interactions, brands can create a strong relationship that keeps customers coming back for years to come.