It was one week ago when the digital advertising industry was caught off guard by a surprising statement. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the digital marketing and advertising regulatory body, apologized for being too neglectful of the user's experience and for focusing too much on “maximization of margins”.
“We messed up”, began the statement and continued to outline a rather unfavorable perspective of the industry. After the dot-com bubble, the desire to makeup for the losses and to optimize marketing budgets apparently prevailed. Building advertising technologies allowed a new momentum in the digital industry and IAB admits, they may have focused a bit too much on the "dimes" and less so on the user’s experience.
As a result, the Internet got populated with never-ending ads. Whether marketers, advertisers or publishers we are all also Internet users. Even for those professionals who create adverts, being followed by the same ads across websites, or waiting for a web page to load for too long because it’s stacked up with too many ads, is not exactly the definition of a good web experience. It was this new Internet environment that prompted solutions like ad blockers.
Looked from another angle, however, ad blockers actually are the loud wake-up call that is helping the industry see that something needs to be changed.
After all, advertising has always been about the consumers. Going back to the basics might be just the key to progressing further. Placing consumers' interests first and most importantly, building valuable experience for them, is the weapon to fight ad blocking software.
In the meantime, we must not forget that in the equilibrium we have 3 parties involved - advertisers, publishers and users. The solution that can create a win-win-win situation for all is programmatic media buying. It is not without a cause that what started as a trend few years ago is now growing to be the leading digital advertising medium. Programmatic advertising technologies allow the personalization of ads and their delivery to the audience most likely interested in their message.
Imagine you're living in London and you want to leave for the weekend. Somewhere outside of the UK and not Paris or Valencia, you've been there already. And you know your budget so it can't be something expensive. Wouldn't it be better if you receive an ad from a travel agency promoting their exclusive weekend package to Florence for a great affordable price, instead of being bombarded by shoe ads and trips for 7 days to Bora Bora. With programmatic advertising technologies advertisers can be specific in the audience they want to target and tailor their ad to best meet their needs.
This transforms the advertising campaigns into more engaging, even anticipated messages that do not hinder the user’s experience. For the advertisers this translates into higher conversion rates but most importantly they are able to gain an invaluable insight into their consumer’s interests and behavior. The publishers benefit is that their offered ad spaces become more desirable for the advertisers and more targeted to the users coming to visit their page. The bounce rate is lower and the win-win-win situation is closer to being achieved.