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Why Online Advertisers Need To Start Caring About Their End Users

May 23rd, 2015

It’s great when online ads offer something useful. Not because consumers are blind and willing to buy the next shiny thing, but because so many marketing messages are just noise. When the right message appears in the right context, it’s as informative as it is rare.

According to PaigeFair, 2014 was the year that ad blocking “went mainstream.” At least 40% of Internet users aged 18 to 25 use some form of ad block, and from June 2013 to June 2014, ad block usage grew by 70%. In some countries, over a quarter of all Internet users have ad block turned on.

Advertisers ought to be seriously worried. If younger generations are embracing the concept of ad blocking now, it will be difficult to convince them to respond to advertising when they have more buying power. That means fewer marketing dollars spent on less effective advertising campaigns, which means smaller payouts for sites and apps.

Essentially, the ad-based Internet could be in jeopardy of running out of revenue. This isn’t a short-term problem, but if content creators don’t become proactive about shaping the future of advertising, it could be too late for them to pivot to another revenue source. Without reliable, scalable inventory, brands too will have to scramble to find new ways of delivering their messages.

Users Find Ads Intrusive

Users are rejecting online advertising because it’s intrusive. There’s a reason why few advertisers buy popup or popunder inventory anymore — users hate them. Interstitials and site wraps are somewhat less disruptive, but many ad block users still consider them a nuisance.

And it’s not just the content of ads, either.  It’s the placement, the frequency and the contextual relation to the surrounding content. Display advertising is really good at hijacking an ad’s relationship with users. 

The simple truth is that better response rates come from better ads. Seth Godin coined the term “permission marketing” to refer to marketing that treats its prospects with respect and consent, as one person should treat another.

Making Ads More Human

The online advertising equivalent of this are native ads that integrate their message into the form of the site or app, perhaps as sponsored content, sponsored searches, or in-feed items. As the incredible financial success of Google AdWords shows, this works. The brand offers its message to users without disrupting them, and the ad unit indicates that it has been sponsored, keeping the transaction transparent.

Ad block users have said in surveys that they would be willing to experience less intrusive forms of advertising. In fact, AdBlock Plus whitelists sites that are willing to be transparent and reduce disruptions.

The other concern users have about online marketers is privacy. Users want to know who is using their data, which is why browser extensions like Ghostery are popular. This becomes difficult when there are many ad tech players shuffling analytics in the middle of the advertising transaction. The key is for advertisers and publishers both to be transparent. The process to opt out of data collection should be straightforward, and all parties should make it clear how they are using user data.

Better advertising won’t happen by itself, and a single player can’t take it on, either. It’s the responsibility of the industry as a whole to move away from intrusive ads and shift towards new forms of advertising where the user is the focus. Their experience is key, and it must be taken into account to build better ad units — everything from how ads are integrated into the content to control over their personal data. Otherwise, online ads will eventually lose their audience completely.

By James Avery (

CX – Is Today’s Business Benchmark

Mar 18th, 2015

Not so long ago, every business assumed that the keys to success were the highest quality product, the best value for the buck, and the best customer service. Now all we hear about is providing the best “customer experience.” Exactly what is that customer experience that every modern marketer is talking about, and how do you measure it?

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review “The Truth About Customer Experience” defines it as your customer’s end-to-end journey with you, not just the key touchpoints or critical moments when customers interact with your organization. Customer experience is the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over time, which result in a real relationship feeling, or lack of it.

The advent of social media and real-time interactive feedback via the Internet allows every customer to build and expect a relationship with your business, rather than just touchpoints. Yet we are all still learning what that means, in terms of hard business practices.

I like the insights outlined in the new book “Summit,” by F. Scott Addis, who is an experienced business executive and recent Inc. “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist. He ties business success and your personal summit to elevating your customers’ experience with the following specific recommendations and key differentiators:

  1. Listen to the individual customer. Every relationship requires listening, as well as talking. You have to hear your customer’s dreams, goals, passions, and aspirations. That opportunity for your customers to talk and be heard is pleasurable and memorable, and defines their customer experience, more so than just satisfying business touchpoints.
  2. Exploit your product and service differences. A memorable experience has to have something different from the norm. You must be able to highlight these differences between your products and services, and those of your competitors. If not, you are part
  3. Demonstrate the value of your offering. The first step in being able to demonstrate your value is being willing to find out what your customers want or need. This will create a connection with them, which demonstrates more value than price or quality. You create a loyal customer that wants to buy from you, and will recommend you to others.
  4. Demonstrate your personal commitment. When in contact with customers, focus 100 percent on them, and do all you can to determine and meet their needs. Remember, customers are the reason you do what you do. Give them the respect and results they deserve and they will tell others about your good work and your business.
  5. Shoot for the customers’ hearts. Engagement and an emotional connection will make a customer relationship the driving force for loyalty and differentiation. Move from customer friendliness to customer charisma. A business with charisma gives the customer something very special, and they want to tell others about it.

Weiß man schon mal, wie man Customer Experience verbessert, ist es auch wichtig zu wissen, wie man es vergleicht – „If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.“ Wie misst man nun Loyalität und Kundenbeziehungen? Eine neue, häufig genutzte Methode nennt sich Net Promoter® Score (NPS).

Dabei werden die Kunden um Feedback gebeten und danach in folgende drei Kategorien geteilt:

Once you know how to improve your customers’ experience, you need to also know how to benchmark it. Remember the old adage, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” So how do you measure customer loyalty and relationships? One new metric now commonly used is called the Net Promoter® Score (NPS).

This works by asking your customers for feedback, and dividing them into three categories:

  • Promoters. Loyal enthusiasts who keep buying from you and urge their friends to do the same.
  • Passive. Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who can be easily wooed by the competition.
  • Detractors. Unhappy customers who feel trapped in a bad relationship.

The formula for the Net Promoter® Score is the percentage of customers who are detractors, subtracted from the percentage who are promoters (NPS=P-D). Legendary companies like Amazon and Costco operate with an NPS between 50 to 80 percent. But the average venture sputters along at an NPS of only 5 percent to 10 percent, or even negative.

Maybe it time for all of us to focus more on the customer experience. There is other evidence that companies with the highest customer experience typically grow at more than double the rate of their competitors. The inverse case is that you can lose you competitive lead very quickly by focusing on the wrong things. Have you checked your customers’ experience lately?

(by Martin Zwilling,

Old Alarm Clock

Oct 20th, 2012

youspi developed an iPhone and iPad App to be never too late agein.