Interactive Creative Claims the Crown


Ken Harlan, founder and CEO of MobileFuse, discusses why the advertising industry’s shift to more probabilistic targeting approaches will require engaging creativity to cut through the mix.

Every few years, notable changes in the digital advertising industry come to light that influence how brands and advertisers connect with audiences. It’s becoming apparent that evolving creative formats are the key to meeting critical campaign goals. As 1-1, engagements lack scale due to cookie and IDFA information depreciation – many brands and advertisers are trying to decide ‘what makes sense’ from an ad spend perspective. 

Coinciding with this, consumers expect more control and flexibility around the ads they engage with.

According to Twillo- SegmentOpens a new window The State of Personalization Report 2023, 80% of business leaders say consumers spend more (38% on average) when their experience is personalized. This makes sense – we are in an era where personal choice is in abundance, but the digital advertising ecosystem has effectively gated consumer choice around their experiences. The truth is, today’s consumers are nimble enough to find the experiences they actually want – and the brands providing them.

Lay of the Land

As the internet and mobile web mature, we’re finding that cookies really only provide one – albeit critical – utility to brands and marketers. They enable them to target multiple users and better understand tastes and preferences. However, for the last few years, the industry has been ‘preparing’ for this foundation to disappear – with little to show. It’s become blatantly clear that cookies set up brands and advertisers to perpetually chase consumers versus developing a means of having consumers engage them independently.

The industry needs to develop less granular means of engaging audiences while still securing their keen interest. Essentially, a probabilistic ecosystem is what we’re marching towards, and brands that find unique ways to stand out from the pack will win. 

See More: Customer Experience and Quality are the Same Thing

Campaign Insights Through Consumer Exploration

One impactful tool that’s proven to address this is interactive creativity. Across the board, brands and advertisers are experiencing the benefits of more consumer-led engagements – and they actually usher in a new form of personalization. In fact, interactive experiences lead to double the amount of conversions when compared to passive content. Additionally, a report from MediaflyOpens a new window found that interactive content sees 52.6% more engagement than static content, with buyers spending an average of 8.5 minutes viewing static content items and 13 minutes on interactive content.

Consumers want to choose their own experience with the least friction. Most of the daily tools and platforms we use are complex and inherently reward us for exploration. Think about how we use social media – it’s an ongoing case study of the ‘rewards’ we get from guided, but not dictated, content interaction. Brands and advertisers should be using that as a template; it plainly demonstrates how much we appreciate exploring and how we seek out experiences that impact us at a given moment. 

When building an ad unit, brands and advertisers must consider experiences that emulate what keeps consumers locked in. As consumers traverse social media platforms, interactive creativity encourages exploration into helpful or interesting topics. For example, an outdoor goods store could deploy a campaign utilizing a microsite highlighting a few key items they want to sell. While the ad is live, unique insights about consumer tastes will emerge, like realizing the camping segment of their ad outperforms the trail riding equipment section. The store can foster stronger customer relationships through insights like these by updating ads to feature the most relevant content. 

However, when building interactive creativity, it’s important not to overwhelm audiences with overly distracting imagery. Sensory overload is a real thing, and consumers’ dwindling digital attention span is proof of that. To combat this, it’s critical the ethos of the creative falls in-line with brand messaging and business objectives. When done right, a consumer’s interaction rewards brands and advertisers with a unique understanding of their interests – effectively providing the personalization thought to be lost with the depreciation of cookies and PII. 

Microsites are just one strategy – brands can also utilize interactive ad formats like 3D offerings, quizzes, branded custom games, AR/MR and more.

New Layers of Understanding

Every user interaction can be analyzed in those ad units, helping brands optimize the overall experience. For example, advertisers can deploy several versions of the creative. They can evolve the experience based on user engagement and ensure it better resonates with a given audience. In addition, as consumers interact with the ads, advertisers can glean a new understanding of their consumers – combatting the realities associated with eliminating cookies and IDFA. 

By taking full advantage of interactive creative, marketers can better understand how to reach campaign goals and engage consumers. Ad unit exploration is the main theme and the most significant contributor to actionable insights. Brands that focus on providing more interesting and interactive experiences are best suited to bolster brand affinity as the industry begins relying on probabilistic targeting strategies. 

Do you think interactive experiences help bolster customer engagement? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you! 

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