Every cloud has a silver lining Mother Superior sung to us in the Sound of Music and here Richard Knott, Regional Director, APAC at Celtra, opines this even extends to ad blocking technology.
In the hyperconnected digital world that we live in today, consumers are bombarded with advertising. Whether that is on social media, news sites, online stores, television – the list goes on. With this increase in volume often comes frustration for consumers, particularly if the information they are confronted with is void of personalisation and user-friendliness.
According to research from Smart Insights Ad CTR (Click Through Rate) is just 0.05 per cent across all ad formats and placements, which equates to just 5 clicks per 10,000 impressions. In Australia, although there has been a two per cent decline in the usage of ad blockers, awareness has increased from 59 per cent to 63 per cent – according to research from IAB.
With regards to mobile, Page Fair’s 2016 ad blocking report revealed that the number of smartphone owners using ad blocking software rose by 90 per cent over the the course of last year, reaching 420 million people worldwide.
All of the above serves as an indication that more needs to be done to meet consumers’ needs when it comes to advertising, and the industry is certainly beginning to take notice.
The rise in ad blocking is forcing a healthy rebalance in Ad UX between the advertiser and the consumer. Initially, there was a panic among advertisers but, since, there has been a realisation that there is a real opportunity to engage the end user with greater personalisation and better user experience.
In Page Fair’s 2016 adblocking report, Stephan Loerke, CEO, World Federation of Advertisers, said, “We have heard the message loud and clear: an increasing number of people aren’t satisfied with the online ad experience, and they’re voting with their feet. The ad industry needs to better understand what is driving them to opt for ad-blocking, and address the underlying issues head-on.”
From the conversations I have with brands and agencies on a daily basis with the work I do with Celtra, that it exactly what has happened. I have noticed an increased desire to improve the quality of creative and the overall ad experience. Whether that is through the use of data to deliver creative relevancy, which ensures a relevant message is hitting the right audience at the right time; or simply improving the quality of the ad experience through advanced creative technology that simply loads html5 not just faster, but progressively – and in a manner that is more mindful of users’ data.
What ad blocking has done is rebalance the power back into consumers’ hands and that is vitally important in challenging the industry to increase the standard of digital ad creative. As an acting Chair of the IAB Mobile Advertising Council, improving industry standards is something I am extremely passionate about and I want the industry to grasp the opportunity ad blocking has presented us to kick the industry into gear.
There is still a long way to go, however. Poor quality digital creative is still everywhere. Everyone in the ad industry from tech vendors, to agencies and brands need to work together to enforce positive change. If they listen to consumers and put them first, I fully expect that to happen and the use of ad-blockers to decline rapidly as a consequence.