Computer users are going less and less to their desktops and laptops, preferring instead to go to their mobile devices to absorb online material. Researchers at the Penn State Media Effects Research Laboratory have found that mobile users are a wise group and are very unlikely to get any value out of flashy banner ads that offer free stuff or warnings about viruses. In fact, many mobile users believe that when they click on a banner ad, they are subjecting themselves to a potential threat, researchers found.
If you’re trying to deliver a valuable mobile user experience, you’re going to have to think of something other than banner ads because today’s mobile users are tech savvy.
What mobile users find particularly useless are banner ads that require the user to do something immediately. The goal of the ad is to inspire the user (or scare them) to click on the ad and be taken directly to the offer. However, researchers found that these are the ads that are consistently ignored. Furthermore, test subjects who were given the choice between clicking on an ad that displayed a security warning, free gift icon, and a third that showed both, subjects said the most untrustworthy ad was the one offering a free gift.
What’s the takeaway? Researchers say the most important thing an advertiser can do to offer a mobile user experience that means something is to be honest and only offer useful products or information that doesn’t include garish graphics in your mobile marketing strategy.
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