If you find online advertising annoying, intrusive, and impersonal, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Attitudes towards online advertising aren’t especially positive right now, and it’s not terribly hard to see why. A lot of the ads out there are not at all user friendly, and can be a real pain to put up with.
That’s why banner ads — one of the least popular types — average a click-through-rate of just 0.1%. Pretty miniscule, and proof that most people really don’t respond well to this approach.
The reason is quite simple: people hate robotic, sterile ads that don’t address them like human beings. Poorly targeted ads like this are nothing more than spam — distracting noise that takes away from users’ online experience.
It’s no wonder adblockers are getting more popular all the time.
The funny thing is, people don’t actually dislike advertising in general. A recent study in Canada found that 77% of respondents had favorable attitudes towards advertising.
The issue here is that the styles of advertising we see online are often ineffective and off-putting. To make advertising better for everyone, we need to approach it differently.
Why are ads so unpleasant now?
The reason we find ourselves swamped with impersonal and irritating ads has a lot to do with the current state of digital marketing.
The industry is dominated by companies like Facebook and Google, who use the data of their users to help advertisers target their ads. The idea is that better understanding what users like and dislike will allow ad companies to focus on people who will respond well to their efforts.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well for users. Because advertisers are often unable to interact with them directly (they have to go through a third party platform like Facebook and Google) ads end up poorly targeted and impersonal.
But what’s the alternative?
A better way of doing things
A better approach, for customers and advertisers alike, would be to focus on removing the third parties and building more direct relationships between buyers and ad companies.
This would allow for more personal, targeted ads, and give users much more control over what they see.
Some examples of these more pleasant methods of advertising include chatbots and push notifications. Chatbots are generally seen as fairly trustworthy, with more than 1 in 3 Americans saying they’d buy through a chatbot.
Push notifications still have some work to do but they’re improving, with 52% of people saying they’re better than in the past.
More than anything, these methods are less intrusive, and tend to give users the opportunity to opt in or out. This makes them less spammy, and allows customers to decide what advertising they want to receive.
They also feel more personal and direct, more so than display ads.
A shift to more personal and friendly styles of advertising is sorely needed. But how can we make this happen, in a climate where Facebook and Google are kings? Blockchain technology might be the way forward.
How blockchain can make advertising nicer
One of the biggest advantages of blockchain technology is its ability to build decentralized networks without the need for a third party.
In the case of online advertising, that could lead to less reliance on powerful centralized bodies like Facebook and Google. Instead, advertisers and users could work together directly and build a much more positive relationship.
This is what Kind Ads are doing their platform.
It uses blockchain to give users more control over their personal data, allowing them to choose which advertisers can access it and charge them for the privilege.
It’s a win-win-win. Advertisers get a more accurate understanding of what their customers want, and will be able to target ads more precisely, at people who’ve actually opted into receiving them. Users, meanwhile, get more personalized and relevant ads, all while making money from their data. And finally, publishers keep the lion share of the money because there is no middleman.
Even content creators benefit, because instead of relying on big platforms like Facebook and Google (who often underpay) they’ll be able to make deals with advertisers and agree on fair and sustainable rates.
It’s a model that would challenge the current status quo and pave the way for more reliance on pleasant, customer-focused ads instead of intrusive spam.
And we’d all see fewer banner ads.