3 March 2017
One of the hottest topics in digital marketing is the use of Ad Blocking software and the implications for both desktop and mobile users. The affects of ad blocking is wreaking havoc for publishers and marketers right across the board. This new landscape even has a new name… The Blocked Web.
How bad is it?
According to an article by eMarketer, approximately 25% of Internet users have been using some form of Ad blocking software in 2016. Another study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that 25% of desktop and laptop users had blockers while 15% were blocking ads across mobile platforms. These numbers certainly limit access to consumers for everyone on the digital marketing front. It is a major issue for a number of ad-dependent websites that rely on the revenue, with many sites and publishers having to employ creative solutions to deal with the problem.
What’s getting blocked?
Publishers and advertisers hoping that mobile platforms and walled gardens would provide ad-blocking relief have been unlucky. Although for the most part it’s desktop computers and laptops that are most impacted. The way that the code has been written, up to 100% of desktop advertising is at risk of ad blocking. Ad blocking software scans web pages, removing anything that looks like an ad, in some cases completely altering the layout of the page. Pop-up ads are amongst the first things to go, as well as auto-play ads and some forms of banner advertising.
What does this say about how we reach our customers?
Given the ever increasing use of technology, it’s obvious that online users are actively seeking a faster, better, untracked and less complicated experience. Relating it back to your own personal experience; nobody wants to jump through hoops, click through to unnecessary landing pages and activate blinking ads that often require a full shutdown of their active web browser.
Advertisers need to think more about the customer experience. As digital marketer and anthropologist Brian Solis has surmised, we need to reach and target our markets better, we need to create a meaningful dialogue that actually matters.
What can we as marketers do about ad blocking?
Given that the largest portion of blockers tend to be desktop and laptop users, this gives mobile marketing a stronger appeal, making it a channel where you can get more bang for your buck. It’s also worth doing your research. There are some software technology options including PageFair and SourcePoint that help advertisers get around certain blocking extensions. Some social channels like Twitter and Facebook, while they are also at risk from blocking, are investing considerable amounts of money to ensure advertisers can still reach their intended audience. In this way, certain social sites are still very useful marketing channels.