Understanding the customer: how to improve the perception of mobile video ads


by Alex LePage

Here’s how marketers can use the fundamentals of intent marketing in conjunction with users’ responses to video ads to create relevant mobile content that consumers will appreciate.

Anyone in marketing can tell you that the most successful campaigns are the ones that anticipate what customers want.

The entire concept of intent marketing is built around the idea that when brands know what the customer is interested in and what they enjoy, the ads served will be more successful because they are actually relevant and useful to the customer.

However, to ensure this success marketers have to also be aware of how customers react to different types of advertisements.

Millward Brown recently released a study that revealed customers have 50 percent negativity towards smartphone video ads. Computers and tablets were not far behind with 46 percent and 45 percent, respectively, yet the focused dissatisfaction with mobile video ads is rather interesting, especially when you start taking a closer look at customer reception to various mobile ad formats.

For instance, mobile app rewards – where customers watch videos to achieve something within an app – along with skippable pre-roll and pop up ads are viewed favorably by customers.


Inversely, customers have an extremely negative view of unskippable pre-roll ads, unskippable pop up ads, and autoplay social and banner ads.


On its own, it’s tempting to draw the conclusion that customers simply prefer skipping ads. But this research indicates that customers don’t necessarily prefer opting out of video ads so much as they would prefer to have the option.

This is an important distinction to make because it harkens back to one of the cornerstones of effective intent marketing – demonstrating to the customer that their preferences are being held as a priority.

How can brands improve the perception of digital ads and keep customers from skipping through them? Apply the tried-and-true practice of great intent marketing: get the right message, to the right customer, at the right time.

Delivering a message at the right time

Delivering a message at the appropriate time is just a matter of responsible retargeting. Ads need align with the context of the customer’s browsing experience in real-time.

Getting the message to the right customer

This involves much more than just using customers’ search and browsing history – you must actually observe and learn about their interests and passions. With a little more thorough digging, brands can gain more insight into the individual preferences of those within their target audience, which allows them to provide better ad experiences. Consumers will be less likely to opt-out or skip when offered content that is relevant to their interests or needs.

Sending the right message in the right format

Part of sending customers the right message is the method on which the content is delivered. All of your effort will be for naught if brands don’t appreciate how people currently view certain types of ads.

Say that a customer wants to watch a video on YouTube on video games, and is delivered a pre-roll ad for a new game that is coming out that he or she is very excited for. If there is no opt-out, it’s likely that they will become annoyed and attach a negative association with the brand.


Because the product is something that is of interest, if there is an option to opt-out, the ad is more likely to generate a positive reaction. The presence of an opt-out shows them that the advertiser cares about their customers’ content viewing experience.

In conclusion

Paying attention to what kinds of ads customers want to view should be a factor that fits into the basic strategy of any intent marketing campaign. By catering to customers’ preferences, marketers can help to improve the perception of mobile video ads, increase their effectiveness, and boost their reach.

It’s an easy way to show customers that the ads they’re being served are there to be helpful and not detrimental to their browsing experience.