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    Marcus Stephens

    Not only are consumers being exposed to 5000+ messages daily typically delivered by mass media vehicles, the number of devices, formats and channels have exploded. Mobile users dominate web ad inventory volumes across search, social, display and video resulting in inventory being highly commoditised. Horrible news for SA publishers with large and growing mobile audiences. While I’m only sample of one, I can’t recall the last time I intentionally left my mobile browsing session to visit an advertisers campaign, except when my “sausage fingers” accidentally initiate creative during scrolling which drives my crazy and usually results in disengagement. Engaging, unique and most of all content that adds value to my life commands my time and attention. Publishers/brands who address my “user intent” and understand that providing me with great content win hands down. Programmatic/data driven advertising has reduced my irritation and frustration levels I’ll admit and when used in combination with relevant content makes web surfing bearable. I see many brands attempting to cover the entire web ecosystem by investing in cheap inventory pockets in an attempt to create “always-on” campaigns with declining ROI, their response is to buy more cheap inventory.. “It’s a numbers game” a phrase I hear more regularly nowadays and its often my “clue” to remove myself from the engagement before I say something that might offend people. The ONLY way you improve audience acquisition costs and cut through the clutter is when users experience an authentic, frictionless experience with a brand. Agencies battle in this space, they think in campaigns and this approach generally delivers short term satisfaction. Publishers are far better placed to deliver improved search/display and video ROI cause they think in “programmes.” Readers value, well constructed natural content journeys far more while they “date” your brand an build trust. A staggering 80% of all purchase decisions are made before they even engage with the brand/sales people.

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