The Internet is broken and brands don’t get it

SUMMARY: (VIEO DESIGN) According to recent consumer surveys, digital advertising doesn’t exactly have the best rep. Pop-ups interrupt the browsing experience at every turn. Creepy remarketing stalks you with the same display ad everywhere you go. Autoplaying videos embarrass you in waiting rooms and on buses. You can hardly read a news article without having to scroll past a dozen ads and accidentally clicking on one of them.

A couple of weeks ago, I started getting a hard copy delivered of The NY Times. As I sat reading my paper with my cup of coffee, I realized that I was missing a lot of content by reading the paper online. It’s not that the content wasn’t there it’s that the user experience was horrible despite having both an app and a website.

What I’m finding is that the online user experience for magazines and news papers leaves a lot to be desired. I would rather read a magazine in print than online in most cases because it’s nice to just browse.

OK, I know. The paper edition of the Times is very thin and most publishers are going online but if they don’t improve the user experience there is a lot of content that’s going unread and that’s a HUGE issue.


As part of my EERO subscription, I get an adblocker, but many sites are learning to use adblocker back doors. Pop-Ups are back, and they really make the online experience lousy.

I understand that online media needs to make money but frankly I would rather pay money for quality content than to be barraged by online ads and popups. But depending on how you look at it, the average conversion rate of a pop-up form – be it a welcome mat, a slider, or a pop-up form of any kind – is between 1.95% and 2.9%. Meaning you need 100 people to see your pop-up to get 2-3 email addresses.

The advertising that is most resented by consumers is (shocker!) pop-up ads, with a 73% disapproval rating. Even Google hates them. Mobile ads come in a close second, with 70% agreeing with the statement “I dislike them.” In third place are online video ads that play before content loads (like on YouTube). with 57% dislike

I keep reading that more and more brands are dedicating bigger budgets to online but have they considered that people don’t want to be bothered when they’re online reading the news?

As brand marketers, we need to do a hell of a better job in ad creative and placing ads. I have demonstrated to clients, again and again, that investing more in creative leads to an ROI increase of over 200%, yet programmatic ad platforms are proliferating cheap, repurposed ads.

It’s funny actually. Marketers will spend a lot of money on TV or print creative but think that they don’t need to do the same when it comes to online ads. Like I said the Internet is broken and they don’t get it.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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