The digital ad industry is currently immersed in a cultural phenomenon regarding personal privacy and online commerce. Consumers are hyperaware that every product they view, every purchase they make, and every CTA they click is being tracked.
There is something deep in our DNA that is fearful of having our behavior monitored. When a digital ad for running shoes retargets a consumer on Facebook, Instagram, or in their favorite app, the response is often negative. Unsurprisingly, ad blockers continue to grow in popularity.
How can digital ads engage consumers without making them feel uncomfortable, insecure, or violated? By building trust with the consumer through transparency.
Transparency Through Storytelling
Stories humanize and clarify the universe around us. Consumers want to experience brands and products as stories because they resonate on a more meaningful, enduring level. Digital ad campaigns must identify and target customer segments, and then artfully contextualize each ad’s messaging, imagery, and promise.The best Digital ads should take consumers on a journey, not chase them down.
Brands can use rich, interactive ads to build consumer trust and inspire action. Smart ads provide clarity and dispel insecurities consumers may have about engaging with the content. Effective ad campaigns build trust through narratives, messaging, and storytellers. In fact, 57% of Millennials say they are willing to engage with ads expressed through authentic personalities or that offer quality entertainment and solutions.
Stories connect people who share common interests. Stories are what we tell at the Thanksgiving table or when we’re having a beer with friends at a football game. We are inherently more open to people, brands, and products that understand our personalities and needs. Ads that are repetitive, out of context, and lack relevance or depth are negative experiences. They exist without a story. They lack transparency. Understandably, consumers use ad-blocking software to stop ads that are intrusive, unwelcome, or obstructive. However, by thoughtfully crafting a story throughout the online consumer engagement experience, businesses can develop trust with consumers. Storytelling communicates a sincere appreciation for the desires and sensibilities of consumers.
Transparency Through Engagement
Transparency is the future of digital advertising. On May 25, the European Union is enacting the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will force businesses across Europe to comply with laws to protect citizens’ data privacy. These laws will prohibit pre-checked boxes on forms and data collection solicitations, as well as passive “cookie” acceptance notices. Location data, device IDs, and IP addresses will also be designated as private and protected under GDPR. For U.S. digital advertisers, this may sound like the apocalypse. It’s not. But it is a reality. With change, there is always opportunity, especially when it involves technology and human engagement.
Consent is about power and transparency. Consumers in every country dislike feeling like they have unwittingly given away their power—their consent. Remember: There is no sale, no purchase, without consumer consent. Brands and products must be more creative about building customer engagement in innovative ways that transparently explain why data is key to serving their needs. Consumers actually desire brands and products that become not just purchases, but part of their values and lifestyles. Amazon understands this. So does Apple, Google, and—especially now—Facebook. Businesses that are proactively transparent about the role of data in serving customers and building relationships are better prepared to compete in the future.
The storytellers at Digitaland are experts in creating digital ads that offer context, relevance, and results-driven messaging. For more information on how Digitaland can help your agency, team, or business create ad campaigns for modern consumers, call us at (305) 709-0737 or shoot us a message.