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Ina Liukkonen12/7/17 10:48 AM3 min read

The Age of Adblock: How To Make Advertising Relevant


BrandBastion’s founder Jenny Wolfram sat down with the founder of Kiip, Brian Wong, at Slush 2017 to discuss advertising and how brands can make it relevant in this day and age. Here are the key learnings below.

 Never forget the individual

At the age of big data and social media we have the option to expand the audience into millions on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. We also have the option to segment the audience according to specific details of their likes, location, gender, behavior and all other aspects that contribute to the identity of an individual user. Users want to engage and interact with content they feel resonates with them. Like in any relationship, recognizing their uniqueness goes a long way to build that special bond. Use the available tools to deliver that experience.


Unobtrusive relationship

As human beings we are hardwired to be social. We form bonds and relationships not just with each other, but with objects, our surroundings, and with our trusted brands. Relationship is a two-way -street, which thrives or dies with the interaction and chemistry between the parties. As Brian summed it, “If you are talking with someone and they are not listening, the answer is not to talk louder.” However, many advertisers have fallen for this MO, and spend money to get high frequency for ads that do not deliver because the customer is simply just not interested. And let’s face it, if any person continued to shout louder when we first ignored them, well, we would eventually say no, and get a restraining order.


Empower the person

We all prefer the relationships where we can be ourselves, and where our actions matter. Nobody wants to be taken for granted. Why should this not be the case with advertisements? Different platforms may offer different ways of delivering, but all users enjoy the sense of purpose and action. This can be achieved by tying advertisements to actual user actions and moments on mobile apps as shown by Kiip, but on other venues such as Facebook or Instagram, meaningful interaction can be the game changer. All you have to do is to be aware of what users are communicating on your ads, and take action. Think about the best conversation or human interaction you have had in past year. Chances are it involved the experience of being heard and validated as a person.

Likewise, in terms of the social media, users comment, you react, and a shared experience is created. As an added benefit, this may also offer priceless insight for future content creation.


Rethink your ROAS

All successful ventures, whether in terms of business or private life, evaluate their returns. However, it may be time to rethink what you want to actually pay for when you pay for ads. According to Brian Wong, what you should be paying for, and wanting, is the unique individual who will form a lasting relationship with your brand. And judging by the popularity of reward based advertising, it seems he is not wrong.

While only time will show how fast this approach will disrupt the more broad audience based market, you can be certain that your customer does this evaluation every time they interact with your brand or product. What do I get out of this? Do I like this? Am I tired of seeing this? I feel lethargic and irritable, maybe I have ad fatigue?

It is no longer enough to just measure clicks or exposure. You also have to think about the nuances and the individual experience with your ads, and this direction is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

So, in the end, what is the connection between mobile streaming devices, human augmentation, software design, cyborgs, VR, health tech, AI, data analysis, advertising, and all other themes presented at Slush 2017? Individual agency and individual potential. The current focus of technological innovation and our society has to do with enabling the individual to utilize services, apps, and everyday experiences to create their own personal narrative, on their terms. Following this logic, the best advertising is the kind that integrates and contributes to this process. It adapts, it allows unique identities, it interacts. You do not have just audiences, you have communities.

For more information on how BrandBastion can help you support your social media advertising efforts, click below.

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Author: Ina Liukkonen

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