Intrusive interstitials: What’s all the fuss about?

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Intrusive interstitials: What’s all the fuss about?
Paul Thompson

This August, Google announced that it will take down and possibly penalise “intrusive interstitials” on mobile web pages from January 2017, in a move that is indicative of the growing momentum for higher quality advertising.

As the search engine acknowledges in its blog, “pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is more immediately accessible.” To address this, the changes will see Google potentially downgrade the mobile search ranking of sites which use excessive interstitial pop ups, providing a major incentive for advertisers to develop more effective and consumer-focused content.

User experience rules all

This initiative marks another key step in the battle against poor quality advertising, and Google should be applauded for recognising that consumers deserve to be protected from unscrupulous advertisers that want to grab attention at all costs.

According to research from Harvard Business School, capturing attention is gradually proving trickier, and with the emergence of omnichannel, consumers have become inundated with intrusive and irrelevant adverts across multiple channels, driving them to disengage. However, even as consumers’ attention becomes harder to attract, the industry needs to acknowledge that it’s been abusing the patience of consumers, and work towards better creative, underpinned with better and more precise targeting.

The user experience is therefore now becoming a key priority for a growing number of channels and industry players, as we’ve seen with Facebook’s decision to disable ad blockers and commit to improving the quality of advertising. This in turn is driving demand for new, more user-friendly advertising formats such as native, which is mutually beneficial for advertisers, publishers and consumers alike; native formats are proven to dramatically increase consumer engagement, and have the added advantage of being bypassed by ad blockers.

As an estimated 80 per cent of mobile users are currently using ad blockers or desiring to do so in the future, this immunity is vital to enable brands to reach their intended audience without interruption.

Turning native

With IHS predicting that by 2020 in-app native advertising revenue will generate almost two-thirds (63.2 per cent) of mobile display advertising revenue, amounting to $53.4 billion in total, it’s clear that the advertising landscape is changing, and shifting away from the interruptive or annoying adverts that have caused the surge in ad blocker downloads, and prompted Google’s decision.

So what exactly is native advertising? Native adverts are designed to fit seamlessly with editorial content, mirroring its look and feel. As a result, the format is much more consumer-friendly than intrusive interstitials, enhancing, rather than disrupting, the customer experience. This approach is proven to drive consumer engagement and encourage sharing, with a recent IPG Media Labs study revealing that 32 per cent of consumers are likely to share a native ad, versus only 19 per cent who would want to share a display ad. In addition, as the content fits organically with its host platform, it is much harder for users to subconsciously block out, as can often happen with other advertising formats.

Native adverts also have the added advantage of being able to benefit from the status of the publication they’re hosted by, helping a brand establish an affinity with users, even if they weren’t previously aware of it. The results speak for themselves; according to Forbes, native advertising can increase brand lift by as much as 82 per cent.

Location, location, location

For brands looking to maximise the success of native campaigns, integrating location data is vital. Location data can provide a wealth of high-quality and precise consumer behavioural and contextual insights,enabling marketers to build a high definition view of the consumer. Through this approach, advertisers can ensure that they target the right consumers at the right time and place, with the right content, helping to dramatically increase engagement and drive ROI.

By addition location to native ads, marketers are able to further enrich the advertising experience, through incorporating users’ physical context into audience targeting. The ads then in turn complement both the in-app experience and the users’ physical location, making them more likely to engage.

Where do we go from here?

With the native ad industry set to quadruple in size between 2013 and 2018, coupled with the surge in ad blocker downloads, the time is ripe for the rest of the industry to acknowledge that it’s been abusing the patience of consumers. It should therefore look to follow Google’s example, by making the customer experience a personal one.

At present, all companies must ensure they are preparing for the new changes and explore different options if their websites currently make use of interstitials that could affect future rankings. In the immediate future, they’ll need to address the real issue – how they can produce quality advertising and how they can educate consumers about the benefits of advertising.

While poor quality, untargeted advertising undoubtedly has many flaws, advertising has been instrumental at keeping the internet free at the point of use. We should therefore look to work towards a scenario where consumers are educated about the huge benefits advertising could bring, and where consumers accept a free service in exchange for agreeing to view personalised, targeted advertisements, delivered at an appropriate time and place. At the same time, the advertising industry has a responsibility to ensure that we’re always putting consumers’ interest must at the forefront of each campaign, by serving the right content to the right people, at the right time, in the right location, and in a user-friendly format.

Through this approach, consumers will only receive content which is interesting and relevant, which they will want to engage with. This in turn drives ROI for marketers and revenues for publishers, while enhancing the overall user experience. Once this happens, we can finally achieve publisher/consumer unity. The real question is; will you be a part of it?

To read the original article click here.

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Paul Thompson As CRO of Blis, Paul Thompson is responsible for leading Blis’ commercial expansion across the global alongside a team of truly talented and inspirational people. Over the last 25 years Paul’s career has seen him work in roles that cover media agency, media owner, sales, communication planning, digital media, mobile and programmatic. Paul has worked at BBH, Motive, Dentsu Aegis, Publicis, News International and Yahoo!
Intrusive interstitials: What’s all the fuss about?
Paul Thompson

This August, Google announced that it will take down and possibly penalise “intrusive interstitials” on mobile web pages from January 2017, in a move that is indicative of the growing momentum for higher quality advertising.

Tags: , , , , ,

Paul Thompson As CRO of Blis, Paul Thompson is responsible for leading Blis’ commercial expansion across the global alongside a team of truly talented and inspirational people. Over the last 25 years Paul’s career has seen him work in roles that cover media agency, media owner, sales, communication planning, digital media, mobile and programmatic. Paul has worked at BBH, Motive, Dentsu Aegis, Publicis, News International and Yahoo!
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Partner Spotlight: Q&A with RSi’s Ansa

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Partner Spotlight: Q&A with RSi’s Ansa

Question 1: How long have you been at RSi and what is your role?
For the past three years, I have been responsible for creating and scaling Ansa, a web-based solution from RSi – Retail Solutions, Inc., that has enabled over 75 of the world’s largest CPG companies and their agencies to build, measure and maximize the performance of their shopper marketing campaigns running in support of the nation’s leading retailers. I am responsible for all aspects of business development, partner and agency relationships and the overall revenue growth of Ansa.

Question 2: How does RSi help solve marketer challenges?
Shopper marketers’ biggest challenge is to connect their online campaigns to in-store results. RSi’s Ansa solution provides the intelligence they need, based on daily, store-level POS-data from the largest US retailers in order to plan, target, and measure the impact of their shopper marketing campaigns. Retail Solutions Inc. has partnered with the leading ad networks in Shopper Marketing, such as Blis, to make Ansa’s automated analytics available for the world’s largest CPG companies and their agencies. To measure and maximize their digital ad campaigns, all they need to do is ask for Ansa inside their next campaign.

Question 3: What benefits does the partnership with Blis bring to buyers as well as the adtech ecosystem?
With RSi’s Ansa solution, building, dynamically optimizing, and reviewing attribution measures for every digital ad campaign has never been so simple. Here is how it works:
1. STORE-LEVEL TARGETING: automatically get from Ansa your store targeting data as store addresses, lat/longs or by Ansa Digital ZIPs to identify stores with the greatest sales potential prior to launching hyper-local media.
2. IN-FLIGHT OPTIMIZATION: see in real-time how sales are trending in your targeted stores vs. a 52-week historical average, and get access to dynamic optimization lists that can guide budget reallocation.
3. MEASUREMENT & INSIGHTS: get access via the online portal to end of campaign analysis just days after the media campaign is over. Visualizations give you a standardized set of analytics, such as sales lift, incremental dollars and units, confidence level, weekly lift, characteristics of high performing stores, etc. Prove and improve your media to help you fine-tune strategies for your future campaigns.

Question 4: What are use cases for the Blis + RSi partnership? (Please provide a few examples from different verticals).
If you are a shopper marketer, maximizing your budgets, understanding performance of your marketing tactics and generating key learnings from those marketing tactics are tasks that are essential to your business.

Running a digital marketing campaign with Blis, and Ansa’s daily, store-level sales intelligence helps make that extremely for the CPG community and shopper marketers specifically.

For existing products, Blis campaigns using Ansa targeting can reach a targeting efficiency of 2:1 vs. campaigns that do not use Ansa store-level targeting thereby ensuring that every dollar is spent driving sales to your most important retailer locations.

Blis campaigns optimized with Ansa typically identify and heavy up investment around 16% of stores that are trending significantly ahead of the average store during a campaign and identify and decrease investment around 14% of stores that are trending significantly behind the average store, therefore ensuring that your budget is being optimized surrounding stores that are over-performing during a given campaign.

After each Blis campaign, Ansa automatically generates measurement of Featured Item Lift and Halo Item Lift at both the total event and week levels. Results are completed 5 business days after the end of each campaign and allow you to learn quickly and improve continuously, all at an amazingly affordable price.

Question 5: What shopper marketing measurement trends do you predict for 2018?
Optimization in-flight based on store sales trends during campaign. Optimizing on engagement, intent and / or clicks may be ok for some campaigns but more and more frequently shopper marketers are tasked with driving sales at their most important retailers. And understanding how their marketing tactics performed 5-6 weeks after a campaign has finished is just not fast enough anymore in today’s fast paced world and puts media providers at a severe disadvantage. By utilizing automated reporting that allows Ansa partners like Blis to understand and optimize their media in-flight based on daily, store-level POS sales data you now empower your media partner to act on supporting the stores that are driving your product sales which can ultimately provide a powerful boost to a shopper marketing campaign.

Question 6: If there was one piece of content you think every marketer should read, what is it?
(Other than this blog post of course!)

Think with Google and Facebook IQ are two fantastic sources of resources. Articles, trends, case studies, POVs, insights, etc… pretty much everything you need to read to keep you up-to-speed in this very fast-paced environment.

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Meet, Greet and Keep: How Mobile Can Help Brands Throughout the Sales Funnel

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Meet, Greet and Keep: How Mobile Can Help Brands...

Our mobile devices give us more than just a way to call or text friends and family: Today, they are our maps, books, radios, and miniature shopping malls. We turn to them for news, entertainment and answers. And from dawn till dusk, we keep them at our sides like our most faithful companions.

So it’s no wonder mobile devices have become integral to an advertiser’s ability to reach their ideal audiences at every stage of the sales funnel. Here’s how brands can employ effective mobile advertising strategies to acquire, engage and retain customers.

Win Over New Customers

One of the best ways for advertisers to identify new audiences is to see where they shop. But without access to a competitor’s first-party purchase data or information about their website traffic, how can advertisers find this out?

Mobile devices provide the answer. By revealing where consumers go, mobile location data can tell brands which consumers spend their time browsing similar products at a competitor’s store. Let’s say Target wants to reach out to consumers who usually shop at Walmart. They can use location data to identify—then target—those who frequently visit the competitor yet still live near a Target store.

But brands need to be careful before jumping to conclusions about consumers. Real-time location data provides important insights, but they can be strengthened when paired with historical location data.

For example, just because someone visits a high-end boutique like Chanel, it doesn’t mean that person has the budget to shop there—they could just be browsing. How can an upscale fashion brand find out which of those Chanel visitors are actually potential shoppers? Here, historical location data can help. It can reveal, for instance, which of those visitors go to private airports a few times a month or regularly visit Giorgio Armani or Versace stores. Chances are, these consumers will be a better bet for the fashion brand seeking to acquire new customers.

Keep Them Interested

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For most of us, it’s look at our phones to turn off our alarms before checking the weather and scrolling through our Twitter feeds. And throughout the day, we continue to stare down into the faces of our mobile devices: checking the news on the train, sending an email between meetings, or watching videos from our living room sofas.

In order to engage consumers on the devices we use day in and day out, advertisers will need to serve ads that make sense for the consumer depending on where they are during the day. To do this, advertisers must first ask the question: What do consumers want to see on their mobile devices and when? Consumers spend a third of their time online watching videos, for instance, but they aren’t going to watch a 30-second video ad while walking down the street.

To boost engagement, brands can use knowledge about a consumer’s historical and real-time whereabouts to reach out at the time and place that will produce the greatest level of engagement. To effectively grab the attention of a consumer that’s out and about, a banner ad may work best. Later that evening, when the consumer is at home using a tablet or laptop, a longer video on a larger screen may work well.

Inspire Loyalty

How can brands make sure they retain the new and existing customers they’ve worked so hard to gain? They must first recognize and show appreciation for their most loyal customers.

Most advertisers identify loyal customers by looking at newsletter subscriptions and online purchase histories, but they may be missing other valuable customers who prefer to shop in stores. By identifying devices that frequently visit a brand’s store location, advertisers can make sure they are recognizing—and thanking—all their biggest fans. When an existing customer comes into a store a certain number of times, for example, advertisers can deliver a thank-you message—perhaps offering the loyal customer a generous coupon to redeem in-store.

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Retailers’ Golden Ticket to Reviving Brick and Mortar Stores

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Retailers’ Golden Ticket to Reviving Brick and Mortar Stores

Interested in understanding how to connect mobile experiences to physical stores? Or how mobile can be the extension of a retailer’s store? Maybe you’ve wondered about the new Cost-Per-Visit metric? Look no further. Blis’ location data experts will be answering these questions on a weekly basis over the next few months in our ‘Retail Series’ which aims to equip retail marketers with the right insights and top tips to stay ahead of the game.

Following its decision to buy e-commerce company Jet.com last year, Walmart recently agreed to acquire Bonobos, a retailer with a strong online presence and generous shipping policies. If these moves weren’t sign enough that the physical and digital retail worlds are merging, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is the ultimate wake-up call.

Retailers everywhere are realizing that while brick and mortar stores are still critical, they’ll need a strong digital strategy to keep them filled with happy customers. Mobile devices are retailers’ golden ticket to connecting with consumers and reviving in-store shopping.

Understanding Consumers though Mobile

Whether they are going to work or going shopping, consumers carry their phones with them wherever they go. As a result, mobile devices provide retailers with a constant stream of valuable consumer insights. GPS and Wi-Fi data can tell retailers, for instance, whether a consumer is at a desktop at work, connected to Wi-Fi at home, or walking past a retailer’s store.

Beyond real-time location data, retailers can use historical location data to understand a consumer’s habits. For example, some consumers might visit a luxury jewelry brand on Fifth Avenue just to browse, even if they have no intention (or monetary means!) of buying. Thus, for that specific retailer, in-store visits may not indicate ideal customers. Instead, that luxury retailer can look at historical location data to identify their ideal consumers: perhaps individuals who frequently stay at the Four Seasons Hotel or regularly check in to exclusive country clubs.

But retailers shouldn’t rely on mobile data alone. By layering mobile insights with other valuable sources of data, advertisers can gain a holistic picture of their perfect audiences. Data collected from laptops, for instance, can reveal browsing histories and online shopping patterns; however, consumers won’t be opening up their laptops while shopping in stores. The trick is for retailers to match the data across devices to unique mobile device IDs. Only then will they gain a more holistic understanding of consumers and will be able to target or retarget them with products they are likely to go buy.

Driving Foot Traffic Creatively

Once they’ve gotten a clear and thorough understanding of their ideal audiences, how can retailers use mobile devices to drive foot traffic? Proximity targeting—delivering ads to consumers when they come within a certain distance of a store location—is a common approach. Retailers can maximize the power of proximity targeting by crafting unique and imaginative creatives.

For instance, advertisers can deliver ads to shoppers already in the area to tell them about an in-store sale, or offer them a coupon they can only redeem in person. Retailers can also deliver ads that feature a handy map telling consumers how to find their store.

Sometimes, targeting consumers when they are walking by a store may be a little too late. A QSR wanting to boost its 10 am breakfast crowd, for instance, may want to target consumers when they wake up around 7a and begin planning their day. Otherwise, the consumer has most likely already made their breakfast choice.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for retailers looking to connect with consumers and drive in-store sales, a strong mobile strategy is key. As the digital and physical worlds continue to blend, retailers must harness the insights and capabilities of mobile to reach their unique brand objectives.

Tune in next week to read all about how mobile is fast becoming the extension of a retailer’s store.

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