Since its first appearance in 1994, online ads have grown to be one of the most hated inventions ever. Everyone has had an annoying experience with ads popping up and distracting them from important work. Even the creator of popup ads, Ethan Zuckerman, apologized to the world for his invention!

It is quite normal to wonder why websites would allow advertisements when it seems unappealing to visitors. Here’s why! Although ads may be a disruption to smooth surfing, it can be an excellent source of revenue – this is commonly referred to as ad monetization.

The underlying concept behind it is that one can generate a decent revenue through their website or apps, by featuring advertisements. Platforms such as Google Adsense provide an opportunity to earn some money by lending space. This is a great way to earn revenue with minimal involvement - some rewarded video ads can increase the app revenue by around 20 to 40%. As per the 2020 Q1 reports, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, now draws revenue of $5 billion from their advertisement platforms.

As inessential as it may seem, online advertising serves a basic purpose of connecting consumers with the available market. Companies are adapting to new technologies to capture a larger audience by using algorithms to analyse and characterize consumption behaviour. The latest online marketing practices have proven to influence consumption patterns despite the fact that a majority of the consumers find them to be needless. However, relevant ads have been proven to help gain customer loyalty and influence future purchase, ergo increasing brand value. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have utilized their website traffic by furnishing an environment that supports and encourages businesses to promote new and developing brands by running paid ad campaigns.

Use of data mining in intensive targeting has shot up the number of personalized online ads. And it doesn’t stop there. In spite of all the existing techniques, the future of digital advertising may prove to be far superior - conversational advertisements.

Conversational ads enable two-way messaging between consumers and brands via artificial intelligence and automation. Past iterations of interactive media redirected the consumers away from the original content, which was a deal-breaker. In contrast, these ads render the full conversational exchange by enabling users to interact with a company without being redirected. This takes away all the reservations users held while paying attention to ads.

(Pop-up ads VS Conversational ads)

With the growing rate of digital ads, the number of users using ad blockers on their devices hit 25.8% as of 2019. Ad blockers are effective in blocking banners and advertisements and help users surf the web with ease. The most compelling reason to use an ad-block is that websites are more manageable without disruptions, but consumers also wish to avoid irrelevant or offensive ads. It also serves to prevent tracking of their online behaviour. But on the flip side, digital ads do enable most blogs to provide quality content. When everything is said and done, it all comes down to the same old story - perspective. What we as users find a disruption presents itself a lifeline to the content provider and small businesses. So the next time you visit your favourite blog, consider disabling your ad-block and help them provide the content that you deserve.

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Rahul Ekkanath