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Social media ads deliver relevancy while in-app ads fall short

NEW YORK ? Executives from Celtra and Opera Mediaworks at the MMA Mobile Automation and Programmatic Leadership Forum revealed that only 6.5 percent of consumers find in-application ads relevant, while social media ads deliver 17.3 percent relevancy, highlighting the importance of hitting consumers on the right platform.

During the ?Ad User Experiences Driven by Data and Programmatic Creative? session, the executives stressed the importance of keeping the ad user experience front-of-mind when crafting new creative. Mobile ads must be exciting and emotion-invoking to capture enough attention, especially as most consumers expect wholly personalized experiences on their smartphones.

?We believe the ad user experience is a largely overlooked opportunity in the ad industry today,? said Mihael Mikek, CEO of Celtra. ?Billions of dollars are being wasted in digital, especially in mobile, because we haven?t figured this out on a massive scale.

?Advertising should be exciting. When you interrupt users, it needs to invoke some emotions.?

Ad-blocking?s biggest driver
With more marketers growing concerned about the advent of ad-blocking solutions, most consumers? frustrations with ads boil down to one main point: a poor user experience. Consumption trends on desktop are much different than they are on mobile, meaning that brands must optimize their ad units for smaller screens with personalized features such as location triggers.

Mr. Mikek named flash sales retailer Gilt?s app as a prime example showcasing a good customer experience. Gilt?s customers can peruse customized product recommendations as soon as they open the app, which provides a more contextually relevant feeling.

?They expect phenomenal customer experience, super native, super-fast, everything in an instant, and they expect everything to be personalized,? Mr. Mikek said.

The channels on which brands target mobile users must also be heavily considered. For example, in-app ads fall low on the relevancy scale where consumers are concerned, clocking in at only 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, 17.3 percent of users find social media ads the most relevant, underscoring this platform?s effectiveness in marketing.

Additionally, the right audience is not equal to the right message. Consumers from the same audience can be found in completely different contexts, including where they are in the purchase funnel.

Rise of creative programmatic
The Opera Mediaworks executive advised marketers to create several versions of ad units, with the goal of presenting more relevant information to each individual user.

Both executives believe that ad relevancy will soon be driven by media signals and third-party audience data. This will result in a more personalized form of mobile advertising that leverages first-party analytics from brands? CRM programs.

This data will likely be channeled into software that will be able to output personalized messages at scale.

However, until this type of software is readily available for all marketers, brands should focus on developing eye-catching mobile ads with different variables for specific audiences.

A recent Opera Mediaworks campaign saw the company team up with Mountain Dew, which presented five different creatives and asked for location triggers to be placed within them.

Another campaign involved Opera Mediaworks placing dynamic messaging within ads for ABC?s The Family, based on a seven-day variable. While the ad?s content remained the same, the call-to-action to watch the show changed daily. One week prior to the series launch, users spotted the phrase ?Special Premiere March 3? emblazoned across the bottom of the ad, while consumers who saw the ad the day before the premiere saw ?Premiere Tomorrow? instead.

While some brand executives may be wary about experimenting with different types of creative, the ads? propensity to resonate well with consumers far outweighs any potential negatives. Brands can ask their ad unit designers to include complex animation, different weather triggers and different messaging based on the time of day.

?Everybody wants the attention of the user,? said Jason Collar, senior creative director at Opera Mediaworks. ?Don?t just have one creative.?