Consumers are more likely to engage with ads if they are connected to what they are doing. Well-positioned timing and rewards can increase click-through as much as 2000 percent.

Consumers respond best to ads that don't interrupt their experience


Though consumers are not universally friendly towards advertisements, they prefer them to paying for content. But there are certain practices that advertisers can follow that will lessen the disruption, or even increase the engagement of ads found in mobile ads. App social branding company MediaBrix commissioned a study through Harris Interactive to discover app users’ preferences on the matter as it applies to apps from Facebook and on smartphones. The survey confirmed that most users prefer free and ad-supported content, but hope that ads will become more relevant or rewarding for consumers.

The experience is king

The study shows consumers accept ads if the content is free - 61 percent of mobile app users and 87 percent of Facebook apps prefer free content over paid, ad-free content. This being said, they still have preferences when it comes to ad formats, and to what experience is being delivered through those ads. While 40 percent of mobile users prefer banners in their apps, 60 percent would rather get ads that bring them some level of added value – such as rewards or currency in exchange for interacting with a brand for instance. User experience is the ultimate success factor, as MediaBrix CEO Ari Brandt explains.

Timing is key

In this respect, timing can greatly increase the success of an ad, Brandt explains to VentureBeat. He takes the example of a user who would be playing a game, and would be out of power-ups. Coca-Cola could send him a message offering 3 power-ups if the user interacts with the brand. In this case, the user is somehow empowered with a choice instead of inconvenienced, and instead of interrupting the game, the ad happens in the game narrative. But most of all, what matters is the timing – the impact is higher because Coca-Cola brings a solution to the user when he “needs” it. According to the study, that can increase engagements to as much as 20 percent.