One of the most common predictions is the growth of online advertising spend over the next however-many years. It’s the prediction that keeps the engine turning and the machine moving forward. After all, if there is no advertising then why are we doing this whole Internet and mobile thing anyway? Are we just trying to make life better for people? C’mon man!
One metric that no one in the marketing industry likes to talk about is just how accepted and effective online ads are. Well, I take that back. If the study says that these ads are a good thing then it’s presented as common sense and logic but if you see the kind of numbers that AdAge produced through a study done by Ipsos Observer, then the industry will look for the closest rug to sweep this one under. Emarketer presents these findings.
It’s safe to say that most people don’t like ads in general. They like to be entertained by them but not interrupted by them. They tolerate them but when they can watch a show or an event with limited commercial interruption or no ads at all they are quickly reminded how nice it is to just be able to take in some content without taking in unsolicited pitches.
So while it is never a good idea to draw strong conclusions from one piece of research, I always pay more attention to studies that find things to be less than perfect in the marketing world. This study does that with mobile and social ads (in other words, the future of the online space, right?) being the least liked ads across all media.
Apparently, just because everyone is starting to become mobile it doesn’t mean everyone wants to be hawked in the mobile environment. Face it, ads are intrusive on a small screen in that they take up valuable real estate or, even worse, they delay the ability to get information quickly that is the most appealing aspect of the mobile experience.
What do these attitudes by consumers actually mean for the Internet of the future? Like most things, it depends. It depends on just what people will be willing to ingest with regard to marketing messages in the mobile space. I think it will create a need for marketers to be less ad oriented and more “ad in the form of content” focused. Advertising will need to be useful rather than just “in the way” in this new, advertising real estate deprived, environment.
Oh, and if you are Facebook you should take note about the relatively poor performance of advertising in social media. If this study has even an ounce of truth in it, this is a real concern considering that the social media advertising model is where $50 billion valuations are born.
So while we get all jacked up about the continued growth of the social and mobile space the people that matter (you know those pesky end users who represent the vast majority of people on the Internet and not just Silicon Valley super users) are saying that ads in these two areas are really a bad thing. Ruh roh.
Do you think the Phd’s and the insiders in the Valley are listening? If the past is any indication, then the answer would have to be no. They will just move right along because they think they can simply impose their will on the great unwashed and uncool to make them like or accept advertising in the mobile and social space. Maybe this time they will be wrong (did I just actually type that?!?!) and the consequences will be tough to take. Too early to tell but it sure is interesting to consider.