Less is More: 3 Ways to Eliminate Media Waste in 2023

What’s the New Year all about? Resolutions and positive change. It’s an opportunity for individuals – and yes, businesses, too – to start afresh. But what might a business resolution look like?

There are ample opportunities to streamline processes, optimize budgets, and of course, make more meaningful connections with consumers. If your business is ready to make a big change in 2023, consider committing to a zero-waste media policy. By shifting your focus to the quality of your ad impressions over quantity, you can set your organization up for success – long past when everyone else gives up on the January resolution fad.

Media Waste 101

In the business world, waste equates to dollars down the drain. That’s why organizations spend millions optimizing their supply chain to reduce excess inventory and utilize every inch of their space.

But what about media waste?

Organizations often overlook the waste that occurs within marketing. There’s the belief that creating a stunning advertising campaign and sending it out into the world is enough to connect with consumers and receive an ample return on investment. But it’s not.

The truth is, many ad impressions are never seen by consumers which means most digital budgets are being spent ineffectively.

With more insight into how consumers view and engage with mobile ads, advertisers can better understand the toll media waste is taking on their campaigns. It’s time for advertisers to take a step back and commit to a zero-waste media policy.

The Importance of Adopting a Zero-Waste Media Policy in 2023

There’s no time like the present to commit to a zero-waste media policy. Reducing media waste is a savvy business move, especially during times of economic uncertainty. As marketing budgets tighten, it’s important for advertisers to spend wisely and focus on the quality of their ad campaigns over the quantity of content they can produce.

This is all to say that digital marketing is here to stay, but the way advertisers promote and distribute content needs to change.

You can already see how other media companies are going through a paradigm shift. Netflix, for instance, is drastically cutting back on original content. According to the Wall Street Journal, the streaming giant is looking to add fewer new titles, with a greater emphasis on quality productions. This is a shift to prioritize programs with the biggest return rather than reach.

We’ve been running on content overdrive, leading to ad creative fatigue among consumers and wasted ad spend for organizations. Now we’re seeing media companies and advertisers pull back to refocus on the quality of content over quantity.

Overcoming Ad Fatigue

It’s no secret that consumers are being faced with more ad creatives than ever before. According to recent research, the average person sees around 10,000 ads per day. That’s more than double the amount from a decade ago.


Number of ads the average person sees per day

In fact, consumers are seeing so many ads a day that they’ve become pros at tuning them out. Many consumers mindlessly swipe through ads placed on social media without another thought because they’re in the scrolling mindset. Others turn to ad blockers to stop these distractions.

Many advertisers have poured more money into creative, targeted, flashy pop-ups and banners to combat ad fatigue. This disruptive marketing strategy is often counterproductive. Rather than being amazed by these ads, most people find them intrusive, disruptive, and obnoxious. According to research collected by Zippia, an estimated 90% of U.S. consumers find targeted ads intrusive and annoying.

It’s clear that the last thing consumers want is intrusive, disruptive ads. Rather, they want to be shown compelling, engaging creatives in contextually relevant environments where they’re willing to receive them.

The experts at Forbes summarize ad fatigue best, stating...

“An ad that fails to reach a mind ready to remember is the proverbial tree falling in a vacated forest.”

Reducing ad fatigue and eliminating media waste go hand in hand. When you place polite yet engaging ads in premium environments, you can maximize your ad spend and increase brand awareness without frustrating consumers.

Three Ways to Eliminate Media Waste in 2023

Are you ready to eliminate media waste for good in the new year and shift to a zero-waste media policy? Here are three ways to maximize your mobile ad spend with the less is more approach.

1. Place Quality Ads in Premium Environments

One of the best ways to stop wasting impressions is by making sure your high-quality content is placed in engaging environments that are relevant to your brand. Many marketers consider social media to be the best platform for digital marketing. These sites are used by millions of people a day, so you’d think you'd have more eyes (and engagement) on your ads.

However, social media has become almost overwhelmed with content. A recent survey found that 74% of users think there are too many ads on social media. Even more interesting, 63% of users say they only see a few things advertised on these channels, over and over again, which can lead to ad fatigue.

Users don’t go on social media to be sold to. Time and time again, studies show that social media users are on these platforms to form connections, interact with others, and be entertained. The last thing they’re looking for is to engage with an ad and, most of the time, find ads to be disruptive to their experience on these sites.

For advertisers looking to reduce waste, consider shifting more budget to premium ad placements on premium publisher sites. Why? For one, consumers tend to scroll slower and are more intentional when reading articles than when mindlessly scrolling and swiping through social media. In fact, according to one platform management expert, the average social media user scrolls the height of the Empire State building every day and spends an average of only 1.7 seconds on each social media ad. In comparison, ads placed on popular publisher websites had a view time of nine seconds. 

Of course, not all websites are created equal. It’s important to curate media plans with a focus on premium sites and inventory. A consumer is more likely to engage with a polite full-screen ad on the New York Times rather than a small banner or annoying pop-up buried on an unreputable site.

Where you place your mobile ads is perhaps the most important step you can take to help avoid wasted media spend.

2. Leverage Brilliant Unmissable Canvases

Along with ad fatigue, ad blindness is another issue advertisers are facing. Consumers have gotten so good at ignoring ads that it’s become second nature. “Banner blindness” is a well-known phenomenon that describes how web users consciously or subconsciously ignore banner ads.

As Forbes explains, this ad blindness “doesn’t just mean that users don’t see your ads — it also means that what is displayed on said ads might not register with them.”

The best way to grab consumer attention? Investing in bigger, better ad formats. Full-screen ads are unmissable and provide a larger canvas for beautiful and interactive creative to be viewed and engaged with.

While the media and context of your ad placements are important, it is the quality of your creative that wins people over and grabs their attention. Full-screen ads can also be chock full of more interesting, interactive elements. From interactive video ads to advergames, you can create mobile ads consumers want to engage with to make your campaign a success.


3. Shift to Transparent Reporting and Attention-Based Measurement

Impressions and viewability are no longer cutting it. Just because an ad appears in view, does not necessarily mean the content is being seen and absorbed by consumers. 

A true zero-waste media policy requires marketers to go beyond reach and A) start tracking exactly where their ads are running and B) whether or not they’re capturing consumer attention. That’s why the industry at large is moving away from viewability and adopting attention as the new universal metric. 

"It’s not enough to be viewable. We need to know that people are paying attention to ads."

Powered by sophisticated eye-tracking technology, Attention metrics for brand campaigns include things like in-view time, exposure time, and screen real estate. These factors can help predict how much time a user is spending digesting an ad. Advertisers can use these reporting measures to track performance and inform changes to creative and/or media placements to optimize their mobile campaigns. 

By having the right measurement and reporting in place, advertisers can even move toward buying media based on attention vs impressions (which are often wasted). Out of all the ways to eliminate media waste, outcome-based buying is really the holy grail of a zero-waste policy. 

Move to a Zero-Waste Media Policy Today

The future of zero-waste media isn’t some far-fetched idea, it’s already here today. At MOBKOI, we always help advertisers know exactly where their ads are running and how they’re performing to consistently optimize mobile media budgets. 

Our suite of mobile solutions ensures your cutting-edge creative is being placed on premium websites in unmissable formats. Altogether, this is the trifecta of creative, placement, and performance tracking needed to mitigate media waste.

It’s never too early - or too late - to begin eliminating media waste at your organization. 

Join the zero waste media movement today with MOBKOI