June 16, 2016 Last Updated 12:52 pm

73% of marketers and media agencies believe digital ad user experience needs improvement

I suppose it is good news that 73 percent of marketers and media agency executives surveyed in the whitepaper referred to below think the digital marketing user experience needs improvement. But one would think that if consumers were surveyed the result would have showed that 100 percent of those subjected to today’s marketing online would think there needs to be improvement.

Let’s face it, we back in the dark ages of digital marketing right now, with pop-ups back, auto-play video and audio, and other forms of reader torture routined used by marketers and publishers.

Yes, let’s not forget the role publishers have in all this, they control the real estate. But such is the drive for incremental digital revenue that many publishers will destroy their websites in order to get a few extra ad dollars.

There are a lot of folks out there who think the IAB is no friend of digital readers, either. The cause of this is the organization’s fight against ad blocking. I can’t blame the IAB for their stance, they are in existence to represent the interests of the digital ad community, after all. Wish the magazine industry had an association looking to represent the issues effecting members rather than ones producing the nonsense we get every month.

Here is the IAB’s announcement for its whitepaper, produced in partnership with Kargo and Refinery29:

NEW YORK, NY – June 16, 2016 — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released “Improving Digital Advertising Experiences with Liquid Creativity,” a whitepaper created in partnership with Kargo and Refinery29, revealing that nearly three-quarters (73%) of marketers and media agency executives believe that user experience needs improvement in digital marketing. The survey’s 283 respondents cited ad clutter as the biggest obstacle to quality user experience (54%), while video and audio auto-play landed at the bottom of their list of concerns (18% and 16%, respectively). This quantitative study is augmented by interviews with seventeen industry luminaries from across the globe. These award-winning ad creatives, top brand marketers, and major publishing leaders provide their expert opinions on how to overcome these hurdles in the face of the new “liquid audiences” that discover content across a range of mediums, devices, and platforms.

Industry pioneers and innovators who offer their observations and advice include:

  • Maryam Banikarim, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Lars Bastholm, Global Chief Creative Officer, The ZOO at Google
  • Brad Brinegar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McKinney
  • Alexa Christon, Head of Media Innovation, GE
  • Susan Credle, Global Chief Creative Officer, FCB
  • Jed Hartman, Chief Revenue Officer, The Washington Post
  • Mark Howard, Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes Media
  • Brian King, Global Officer, Marriott Signature Brands & Global Sales
  • Michael Lebowitz, Founder and CEO, Big Spaceship
  • Ben Lerer, Managing Partner, Lerer Hippeau Ventures; Founder and CEO, Thrillist Media Group
  • Tom Markham, Executive Creative Director, BBDO
  • Lou Paskalis, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Media Executive, Bank of America
  • Diego Rubio, General Creative Director, Latin3
  • David Sable, Global Chief Executive Officer, Y&R
  • Peter Shen, Chief Creative Officer, Cheil OpenTide
  • Marisa Thalberg, Chief Marketing Officer, Taco Bell
  • Steve Wax, Managing Partner, The Cooke Wax Partnership

Some of the paper’s key takeaways include:

  • Transform approach to consumers from transaction-driven to relationship-driven
  • Anticipate the needs and desires of users through superb UX design
  • Enable creativity and innovation by taking risks with technology and data

At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on June 20 at 12:15pm CET, Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, will lead a session with similar themes entitled “BLOCK YOU: Why World Class Creativity Will Obliterate Ad Blocking.” Jess Greenwood, Vice President of Content and Partnerships, R/GA, and Mark Thompson, President and CEO, The New York Times Company, will join him in a conversation focusing on how creativity and technology can and should come together to deliver digital experiences that consumers will adore rather than block.

“Brand stories can more effectively reach today’s audiences when they are crafted within great user experiences,” said Rothenberg. “It is imperative that ad creatives, brand marketers, publishers, and technologists realize that they must join forces to engage consumers in digital in new ways.”

“This paper offers actionable takeaways to improve user experience, and to further spark creative thinking and serious commitment to serving the ‘liquid audiences’ of the present and the future,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Digital Video, IAB, who wrote one of the paper’s forewords. “It will serve as a key resource as we rally the industry together from all sides to deliver higher value to the ‘liquid consumer,’ and enable brands to tell more engaging and compelling stories.”

“Our audience is at the center of everything we do as a publisher, and in order to connect users with brands, a seamless user experience is key,” said Melissa Goidel, Chief Revenue Officer, Refinery29, who shares her point-of-view in the report. “With this digital-centric, ‘liquid consumer,’ you cannot force attention. Brands must invest in experiences, storytelling, authenticity and mission-driven content that is based on user passions and adds value to the consumers’ lives.”

“Mobile requires not only a change in philosophy, but also a change in practice that includes collecting new device-specific insights, using data more wisely, fusing creativity and technology more fluidly and brainstorming across more partners,” said Ryan McConville, President and Chief Operation Officer, Kargo, who also lends his opinion to the study. “It’s time to stop recycling and instead reinvent the mobile advertising experience.”

To download “Improving Digital Advertising Experiences with Liquid Creativity” please go to iab.com/liquidcreativity.

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