Ad Blocking: The Next Digital Marketing Challenge

Ad Blocking: The Next Digital Marketing Challenge

Currently, in the US, 30% of internet users are using ad blocking technology on their cell phones. By this time in 2017, that number will increase over 60%. Desktop ad blockers are on the rise as well. The big players like YouTube, have announcedYouTube Red to combat this trend. For $10/month you can enjoy YouTube without any ads.

So, the questions needs to be asked. Are people more willing to pay for premium services or are they going to accept ads as a part of their digital eco-system?

Will They Ad Block?

I believe that the above question comes down to income levels. Those in a higher income bracket, with a credit card in hand will likely pay for ad blocking on their favourite services like YouTube. However, those in lower income brackets will view ad blocking like buying a car with spinners on it (do they still make spinners?). There’s just no need to put spinners on a car when money is tight.

The case can also be made that if presented properly, everyone’s willing to click on an ad. This is why remarketing works so well. Remarketing ads are simply showing you what you’re already interested in.

General Ad Blockers

Now, where everything gets a little hairy for advertisers is in the use of general ad blockers like AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. An app like this walks into a virtual room and tears down all of the virtual posters. There’s simply little that can be done about these services on websites across the WWW.

That’s why advertisers are being forced to get savvy, and really understand the customer. It’s also why content is king.

The Right Kind of Ad Delivery

People generally don’t like ads because they find them invasive. I can appreciate that. An ad for a product you’ll never use is the virtual equivalent of an obnoxious, uninvited guest to a dinner party.

The right kind of delivery can change that experience though, and your brand must associate itself with being on the right side of user experience (UX). Based on a poll by Marketing Sherpa, we can see what the right kind of delivery means to the 1000 people interviewed.

  • 54% prefer to receive ads by mail (although 32% admitted that is because it’s easy to discard of the ads they don’t like).
     
  • 49% prefer to receive ads via a eNewsletter they set the frequency for.
     
  • 38% visit a company’s website when looking for promotions.
     
  • 28% want to get their dose of ads in-store.
     
  • 24% wish to receive ads from an eNewsletter with pre-determined frequency.
     
  • 20% enjoy receiving ads from the brands they follow on social media.
     
  • 17% are fine with opt-in text messaging.
     
  • 15% receive ads through a mobile app.
     
  • 8% prefer not to receive ads at all.

The Details Behind the Numbers

This survey tells us a lot about how we should be advertising to the public. For one, it tells us that mailers are ineffective because they are getting tossed in the garbage by many. Mailers are also generally 5x more expensive than virtual ads.

eNewsletters and websites do well because the person has a choice as to whether they see the ads. The public will always prefer that which they can seek, over that which seeks them. 

That’s why social media is next on the list. People have become more protective over their feeds, and are choosing to only follow brands that interest them. There’s no more adding for the sake of adding.  Only 20% of people said they are okay with social media ads, but over 80% said that is due to the fact that they see ads for services and products that they have no interest in. Target those ads people.

Be aware that the text and mobile app numbers relate only to big brands, and small businesses with a cult following. Do not be fooled by these numbers. If you don’t fall into one of these two categories, stay away from using them. You’ll spend more money and time on them than they’re worth.

The Conclusion

It all comes down to a simple principal. People don’t hate ads, they hate ads for products and services they have no interest in. Well, 92% of people anyway. Serve your potential customer great content that they will show interest in. If you’re a restaurant, display your fantastic meals, and when advertising, pick demographics and interest groups that you know have the highest chance of relating to your customer. Again, this is why remarketing is so successful.

Here’s a great social media example. Let’s say you own a burger joint in Los Angeles. Instead of just blasting out an ad to everyone, serve it up to fans and friends of fans in LA. Then, if you’re looking to bring more people into your network, try this:

  • Los Angeles
     
  • 18 - 50
     
  • Male
     
  • Interests: Burgers, McDonalds, Hamburgers, Fries, Beef

Now, this is a general example, but gives you an idea about what kind of options you have. A fan of burgers is more likely to be interested in burgers than someone who could potentially be a vegan.

As the noose tightens, make sure you are staying ahead of the digital advertising curve, and you’ll be alright, friends.

If you need help with your ads, let’s talk.

Written by:
Jay Hall - Chief Strategist