O2’s Weve on why 2017 is the year digital must clean up its act

O2’s marketing proposition Weve says the ad industry needs cleaning up in 2017 and that industry bodies need to do more to tackle the issue of ad blocking.

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This year should be all about “cleaning up the ad industry,” according to Weve’s commercial director Tom Pearman.

Pearman says marketers needs to take charge and use bodies such as the IAB to create a greater awareness around ad blocking and the need to produce higher quality ads.

He tells Marketing Week: “In 2017 there will be a lot of cleaning up the industry and as the industry improves, there will be less need to have an ad blocker. There is also a need for industry bodies such as the IAB to promote the value of receiving free content.”

“Knowledge and power will help customers understand why they need to receive free content. And from a media perspective it is our job to make sure we offer the best experience so consumers are prepared to receive advertising.”

I think there will be a shift towards the need for quality data. It will change that black box mentality of mobile.

Tom Pearman, Weve

His views echo O2’s rival EE, which made a u-turn on its pledge to roll out automatic ad-blocking across its mobile network in November last year. At the time, the provider said it is now more important for marketers to produce quality ads than just to block, as it similarly urged the industry to clean up its act.

“I think there will be a shift towards the need for quality data. It will change that black box mentality of mobile and there will be more on changing things around ad fraud,” adds Pearman.

With social media giants such as Snapchat and Instagram set to continue to limit what advertising their users can see, he says marketers will also need to adapt their ads especially for specific platforms and that a “one-size-fits-all” approach no longer works.

READ MORE: Instagram introduces ads and live videos to its ‘Stories’ feature

Why caution is key on mobile

Despite retailers such as Argos hitting £1bn in sales through a mobile device, Pearman warns marketers not to push too much money into mobile unless they can first prove it works, as there is now a greater need for businesses to validate the use of the platform.

Pearman claims 80% of transactions in the UK still involve money spent in store, meaning understanding the link between mobile, digital conversations and real world attributions is “critical.”

He concludes: “We’re still statistically seeing four in five pounds being spent in retail outlets. I think the involvement mobile takes in that journey is definitely increasing but we need to understand the link between mobile and that real world transaction, as much as we need to drive customers to a mobile transaction.”

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