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Impact of Ad Blockers on Marketing

By Jake Nordquist   |    December 11, 2017   |    9:08 AM

  

Ad Blocking Technology’s Impact on Digital Marketing

Online marketing strategies, and the positional use of adverts on the web, have always been a key tool for businesses to promote their products, reach new clients and ultimately increase profits. Many businesses invest significant amounts in their online marketing schemes. However, ad blocking technology is becoming increasingly popular amongst Internet users, posing a major obstacle to online marketers. Advertisers spend significant amounts of money, time and energy to create, promote and implement online advertising, yet many are slow to react to this significant threat. Advertisers need to respond to this challenge, as ad blocking interferes with your marketing strategy by preventing ads from appearing, likely resulting in financial losses. This article will explore what measures advertisers have taken to mitigate the impact of ad blocking.

Ask or Insist with an Incentive?

Advertisers have responded in a variety of ways to ad blockers as they recognize that without paid ads they will be unable to support their content. Some have politely requested that users turn off their ad blockers, advising them that revenue generated through ads serves to fund the content. Other advertisers have chosen to enforce punitive measures for those that do not turn off their ad blockers. This aggressive approach works by denying visitors access to key content unless they turn off their ad blocker and accept what is known as an “ad-light” experience. This refers to an experience where users are exposed to a limited number of ads. According to a study conducted by Forbes on 2 million site visitors, ###a href="https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/lewisdvorkin/2016/01/05/inside-forbes-from-original-sin-to-ad-blockers-and-what-the-future-holds/&refURL=&referrer=#1481bec418ae">42% of users turned off their ad blocker when asked to accept an ad-light experience. This data suggests that this is an effective method for advertisers to use.

Opt-out or Opt-in Option

Some well-respected companies advise customers to whitelist them, thereby allowing ads exclusively on their website in exchange for quality free content. Giving browsers an option to opt-out or opt-in is a viable solution for reputable businesses. The New York Times provides browsers with this choice. Browsers can either peruse their content with adverts, whitelisting the site, or if they wish to have an ad-free experience they can do so, but must subscribe for a small fee to cover the costs. Giving surfers options, however, may only work if you are a well-established company whose service-offering is considered worth the fee. For advertisers marketing for small businesses online, this is simply not an option.

The Sneaky Way

Many advertisers have gotten smart to the fact that they can use alternative advertising options such as native ads or sponsored content to overcome ad blockers. Native ads are paid adverts that fool ad blockers because they appear to be part of the website. They mimic the look and feel of the website, meshing naturally with content, thereby avoiding detection from ad blockers. Sponsored content is another way to overcome ad blockers. It has a softer touch than simple native ads. Sponsored content doesn’t push products. It works by informing the audience of a message which indirectly promotes the company. This could be in the form of a blog post or other format that does not immediately appear to be an advert, such as Mastercard’s sponsored content on ‘The Surprising Cost Of Not Taking A Vacation’. Whatever way they choose to address ad blockers, advertisers need to react in one way or another or revenue will be sacrificed.   

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