“High impact ads include skins, scrollers and wallpapers, and it’s the interactivity of these types of formats which drives impact and action, ultimately leading to conversions and growth for brands,” says Carl Söderblom, VP Operations and Business Development, Adnami in an exclusive interview with TalkCMO.

TCMO Bureau: According to you, are there any struggles related to digital advertising in today’s marketing landscape?

Carl Söderblom: Increased focus on respecting user privacy brings new challenges, but it also heralds great opportunities to evolve approaches. I welcome this and I believe that all companies on the right side of embracing and leading this change – rather than resisting it – will see increased revenues, greater respect and improved market value.

By limiting the reliance on personal data, advertisers, agencies, publishers and tech vendors will be in a position to focus their efforts more tightly around the critical factors of context, creativity and interactivity. No longer will it be possible to implement ‘lazy’ marketing. This will benefit all parties, not least the customers. In today’s climate, it has never been more important to think user-first in terms of ad design.

What’s more, at a time when customers are bombarded by so much advertising, it is hard for brands to stand out. As prospects and customers spend many hours in front of screens, large and small, and they tune out ineffective digital advertising. This is why creative ad executions are so important.

TCMO Bureau: What steps can brands take to provide an enhanced advertising experience to their prospects and customers?

Carl Söderblom: First of all, every stakeholder in the advertising chain must think in terms of the user experience first and never be intrusive. The importance of a strong and solid tech vendor is, of course, a basic requirement for any website or publisher seeking to ensure seamless delivery.

Besides that, the key is ensuring creative is engaging rather than intrusive, as well as interactive, skippable by design, and respectful of the audience. This may sound obvious, but for too long, it has not been the primary aim; hence the advent of ad blockers and the poor ROI of campaigns which fail to deliver on these all-important elements.

In contrast, high impact formats are extremely effective at capturing users’ attention and facilitating brand impact through engaging, rich media creative. They go beyond standard display, including, for instance, skins, vertical video scrollers and top or mid-scrollers. Essentially they take over the visual aspect of the website with eye-catching creative that stops people in their tracks.

TCMO Bureau: How can brands deliver high-impact advertising for accelerating growth?

Carl Söderblom: High impact ads include skins, scrollers and wallpapers, and it’s the interactivity of these types of formats which drives impact and action, ultimately leading to conversions and growth for brands. These types of ad formats are effective at capturing users’ attention and facilitating impact through engaging rich media creative. When this type of ‘thumb-stopping’ is combined with effective targeting – meaning that ads hit the right demographic in the right context – interaction rates are high.

In a very cluttered market, the industry needs to up its game when it comes to improving creativity in digital advertising. After all, creativity is the biggest driver of action – of sales – and, thanks to automation, it is now possible to buy creatively impactful ads programmatically. In the era of GDPR, as the data play gets increasingly challenging, it seems the pendulum is at last swinging back towards format, creative and context.

TCMO Bureau: According to you, how will the digital advertising space evolve in the foreseeable future?

Carl Söderblom: Coming back to the point about the availability of data, and today’s limitations around personal data, I believe and hope that more and more publishers, agencies, tech vendors, and advertisers will respect and embrace change – as it is this evolution that can move the market towards focusing more on contextual targeting, user experience, impactful creative and interactivity rather than exploiting personal data.

This is not an easy win, but it is a worthwhile one with regards to the future of our industry as a whole. I’m also a firm believer that this will benefit quality websites and independent journalism, rather than the so-called duopoly, which has based their business on data as opposed to first-rate content.

Carl Söderblom is VP Operations and Business Development at Danish-based ad tech company Adnami, which specializes in programmatic, high-impact advertising solutions. An entrepreneurial business leader, Carl partners with publishers, media companies, agencies and advertisers, offering clients, across all verticals, greater value, transparency and control.