Adblockers! A new threat?

Are adblockers a threat or just a tired hype? It’s a debate that has been making the rounds for some time. The reasons for blocking are various: privacy, speed, annoyance but despite all that, advertising remains the primary supporter and revenue to many websites, without which they will cease to exist.

In an effort to be more relevant and competitive, these ads have become increasingly full with slow loading time and packed with tracking software resulting into significant consumer dissatisfaction.

As a result, a rapid take up of ad blockers! A report by Adobe and Page fair found that globally, ad blocking is used by more than 200 million users.

How the Adblockers work?

As of now, the ad blocking technology uses a list of advertiser IP addresses and detects content that is coming from those IP addresses. It then rejects/strips off the content coming from the web page and fills the space with other content so that there are no holes in a reader’s viewing.

At present, the adblockers deal with most annoying types of ads such as pop-ups, re-targeted ads or pre-roll video ads.

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox have supported third party plugins on desktop for years for ad blocking but the feature was never built directly into the browser.

Though the present data shows, the ad blockers have not been widely adopted as yet but the shift will grow more troublesome as users become more tech-savvy about their options and developers continue to release third party or built-in ad blocking technologies. This may warrant the attention of those websites which rely on banner ads for a part of their revenue.

What Can Advertisers Do?

The days of obnoxious ads that clutter screens, block content and slow down processing speeds seem to fade as the internet users become savvier and avoid ads by using an ad blocker.

This gives an opportunity to advertisers and brands to rethink their digital advertising strategies such as:

  • Providing the right information to right consumers at the right time with tailored and more personalized messages will help cut the clutter and promote services/products that will be most relevant to an individual.
  • Developing robust measurement strategies for understanding audience engagement and identifying/optimizing spaces where ads will perform best.
  • Focus on native advertising strategies i.e. where brand messaging can co-exist with the editorial content. This could be a good way to serve ad messaging in a relevant way.
  • Advertise in apps to find users who may have blocked ads. These mobile ad dollars can be moved to Facebook, Twitter and other in-app mobile networks.

What Does the Future Hold? 

While there is a lot of buzz surrounding the future technologies that will block the ad blockers, but the fact is developers too are proceeding very cautiously not to upset consumers that do not want to view ads. It’s true that ad blocking won’t single-handedly bring down digital advertising but it’s important to develop and align your digital marketing strategies keeping consumer concerns on top.

For brands, that are noticing a considerable drop in revenue and performance due to ad blockers, particularly on mobile devices, new strategies for engagement, reach and sales might be considered.

It’s the fact that internet users will always be able to block content they do not want to see. So the advertisers need to research, study and harness the endless consumer data that is available to create effective strategies that will continue to perform despite the growth and popularity of ad blockers.

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