From customer-service chatbots to plagiarism checkers, artificial intelligence (“AI”) is transforming how business is conducted. One area that’s seen the deployment of AI improve service delivery is online advertising — the technology is enabling publishers to optimise the ad experience they serve, empowering advertisers to target consumers with ads that they find engaging and relevant. Read on to find out more.
What is ad experience?
The ad experience hinges on user behaviour, ad format, content and even the alignment of layout across different devices. Audiences report finding awkwardly served, irrelevant ads boring or even irritating, creating a bad impression of both ad publishers and advertisers.
The scatter-gun approach to advertising is being made obsolete by the rise of personalised ads that cater to an individual’s unique desires and interests. After all, there’s not much point beaming a cat litter ad to a non-cat-owning dog lover.
Importance of the ad experience
For publishers (supply-side)
A poor ad experience may cause consumers to actively take steps to exclude an ad or even an entire brand. For example, over two-thirds of respondents to a Better Ads survey said intrusive or annoying ads had prompted them to install an ad blocker, which may therefore negatively impact publishers’ ability to monetise their digital properties.
For advertisers (demand-side)
Understanding the current behaviour of each audience is helpful for creating personalised ad experiences that grab and maintain attention. Advertisers that are able to reach the right people at the right time on the right platform are able to increase conversion rates for their target audience.
The Better Ads survey also found ads that interrupt consumers’ online behaviour and distract, as well as ads that clutter pages, are the biggest consumer turnoffs.
For instance, some three-quarters of respondents said ads that interrupt the information flow are annoying, while flashing animations were also flagged as unwelcome in both the mobile and desktop environments. Another example of annoying ads is high-density ad displays, which slow down the user experience, especially on mobile devices.
Not only is tailoring ads to avoid these traps important for winning new business, it’s crucial for customer retention, and as retaining a customer is much cheaper than acquiring a new one, it’s clear just how much this approach can boost the return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) metric.
Research- and data-derived insights have uncovered several factors that impact the attractiveness and effectiveness of ads:
It’s widely known that consumers are impatient when they are online. “A one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions,” found a KissMetrics study. The same goes for ads—content loading speed matters when it comes to advertising.
Ad relevance refers to the extent to which advertising content matches the user’s behaviours, demographic, browsing history, purchasing habits, etc. The closer the match, the higher the click-through-rate or complete view rate.
On learning that repetition is key for memory retention, some advertisers set about bombarding consumers with multiple ads in one sitting. The unintended consequence is often to annoy target audiences. Carefully adding a frequency cap for your ad campaigns increases the likelihood of new leads and maximises the impact of campaigns.
AI to the rescue
AI technology addresses the above needs systematically and optimally.
Today’s AI-based online advertising solutions can handle high throughput ad requests in near real-time, and at the same time find the most suitable target audiences. These solutions also deploy machine learning and algorithms to provide omnichannel ad experiences in a wide variety of formats and units across channels, including the web, mobile, CTV & OTT. All these functions help businesses optimise their ad performance and minimise costs.
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