Give Consumers The Ads They Want

As advertising and ad measurement become more sophisticated, two things are certain: New technologies and channels are bombarding consumers with messaging, and consumers have become frustrated with advertising that they find irrelevant, disruptive and annoying.

The environment of increasing media channels (in-store smell is my new favorite), ad blockers, banner blindness, shorter attention spans and general mistrust of advertisers is tough for brands trying to get their messages to the right people. Tuning out the noise has become instinctual — even my two-year-old son has learned to “Skip Ad” in YouTube to get to his Daniel Tiger video faster. It doesn’t take a futurist to realize that we have to improve the way we advertise to consumers if our industry hopes to survive.

Fortunately, today’s technology, research and insights can help us understand consumers’ motivations and purchase behavior better than ever before and enable advertisers to give consumers what they really want: not less advertising, but better advertising. By leveraging the power of data, marketers have the power to create advertising experiences that are actually enjoyable for consumers, guiding them along their journeys to purchase.

When we put the consumer first — meaning we reach them at the right moment, with the right message and with a relevant product or service — they welcome the assistance of advertisers. That’s why I’m confident that in the future — consumer permission will be at the center of all effective advertising. Our audiences will recognize the value they can get out of advertising that is actually useful for them, so they will tell us what they’re interested in, how they want to be targeted and on what channels they’re best reached.

For example, Pinterest, an IRI partner, is already creating an environment where users ask to be advertised to. Promoted Pins show up in relevant searches and look just like regular Pins, except that advertisers pay to have them seen by more people. They don’t interrupt or distract Pinners but instead are summoned by the user looking to discover something new. Users don’t even consider Promoted Pins to be advertisements because they help users find the ideas and solutions they came to Pinterest for in the first place.

Published in Forbes (online) by Nishat Mehta
President, IRI Media Center of Excellence, improving the consumer experience through more relevant advertising.

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