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Even as advertising nuts, we here at Agency Entourage are more than willing to admit that there are some digital advertising techniques that are simply bad form. In our ever-growing world of digital, more and more businesses are trying to target their audiences online and that means there are more and more ways to get your message to your audience. However, the type of online advertising that you use can make or break your audience’s perception of your brand. The Nielson Norman Group (shout out to any Nielson families out there) did a study earlier this year in which they surveyed audiences about types of digital advertising they hate the most on both desktop and mobile. Let’s dive into what they found.

The Methodology

digital advertising techniques

Let’s first start with how the Nielson Norman Group (NNG) went about conducting their study. They surveyed 452 adults from the U.S. who didn’t work in IT or marketing-related industries. The participants were shown 23 different types of ads and rated how much they disliked them on a scale of 1 to 7. The ads were displayed as shown in the image above so that the design and content wouldn’t affect their perception of the advertising technique.

When possible, participants were shown both a desktop and mobile version of the ad types. In instances where there wasn’t a common or practical implementation of an ad type on mobile, only the desktop variant was shown and vice versa.

Digital Advertising Techniques Tested

These were the types of digital advertisements that were tested:

digital advertising techniques

The Average Ratings Overall

Now we’re going to preface this by saying that while all ad types were not liked all that well, that is to be expected. Now, let’s see how everything stacked up.

First up, we can see that the average rating for the advertising techniques used in mobile disliked slightly more than the desktop counterparts.

digital advertising techniques

Now, let’s see how each ad type broke down in rating.

digital advertising techniques

As you can see, when it came to how the desktop ads rated in comparison with their mobile counterparts, there wasn’t much of a difference. However, it is worth noting that all mobile ratings do skew more towards dislike than the desktop rating. This could be in part because when audiences use their mobile device, they are looking for a more instant connection with their content whereas on a desktop, they are slightly more accepting.

Most Hated Digital Advertising Techniques on Desktop

So which digital advertising technique was most hated on desktop? As shown in the image below, the three most hated ad types were Modal, Autoplay Video with Skip (desktop only) and Intracontent with Content Reorganization.

digital advertising techniques

Why are these hated the most? Well let’s take a closer look.

  • Modal, hated the most, requires your audience to close the ad before they can interact with their content. This interrupts their flow of content and can make your brand appear intrusive.
  • Autoplay Video with Skip immediately starts playing when your audience arrives to a website. While it does allow the user to skip, it still catches them off-guard in the wrong way.
  • Intracontent with Content Reorganization allows your audience to start viewing their content at the beginning but when your ad appears, it reorganizes the content and causes them to lose their place and interrupts the seamless flow they desire.

While these were the most hated on desktop, you can also see that the surveyors actually received a neutral, borderline positive, rating for Related Links and Right Rail ads.

We’ll discuss what all this translates to for your business and digital marketing efforts after we take a look at the results for mobile.

Most Hated Digital Advertising Techniques on Mobile

While the main results don’t differ much from desktop to mobile, it is worth noting the higher dislike ratings throughout all of mobile. See below:

digital advertising techniques

For mobile, Modal, Intracontent with Content Reorganization and Prevideo without Skip were the three most hated digital advertising techniques.

What Does This Mean For You?

All these results are to say that if you want to make sure you’re not only serving up the best digital ad content that you can, but you want to make sure the way in which you’re delivering it is also spot on.

You can read the full study here.

Come to the digital marketing experts at Agency Entourage if you want to best serve your audience. Our dedicated team does in-depth research into your business to perfectly identify your audience and the best way to target them. Contact Agency Entourage in Dallas today to start making waves in the world of digital marketing

(All images from nngroup.com)

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