Technology often changes faster than the world can adapt accordingly to it, making it difficult for businesses to keep up with effective advertising strategies. It hasn’t been until now that Adblock has moved beyond a niche audience and into the mainstream. There are so many options users can choose from, all of which spell out a tricky scenario for marketers.
The Lowdown on Adblock
Adblock is a free downloadable software that blocks nearly every ad on every website, including those on YouTube and Facebook. However, the software is not exclusive to computer-based browsing, as there are Adblock apps that block ads on mobile devices.
The simplicity of Adblock is very attractive to internet-users, and the low cost (i.e. free) makes it essentially a no-brainer. People are catching on, as Adblock users grew 47% last year to make up half of all U.S. internet users. 55% of 18-24 year olds use Adblock, and that number is quickly growing. This era is fed up with advertising, which is why ad-blocking software is becoming so popular. Consumers don’t want to be interrupted while they consume media, which is why they are migrating to services like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube. Theyoffer monthly subscription services that remove commercials from the equation.
As you can tell, this disturbs the marketers tremendously, because the advertisements that companies pay for are not getting eyeballs. As a result, the industry is missing out on billions of dollars of potential revenue.
One way to circumvent ad-blocking software is by paying to get on the software’s “whitelist”, but that has strict guidelines. Some websites, like Forbes, are taking the initiative themselves, by enacting code to detect when an ad-blocker is being used and requiring the user to remove the software for the site. But there are also ways for users to circumvent this practice as well.
How Marketers Fight Back
It’s an environment where the technology is always one step ahead, forcing marketers to be reactive instead of proactive. The challenge for marketers is not to restrict Adblock, but instead to develop alternatives that people want to see. The goal is not to continue to inundate the consumer when they are frustrated seeing ads while they read an article or play a mobile game. Businesses need to create more engaging, interesting advertisements that demand the consumer’s attention, not lose it. Social media accounts are a great medium to interact with customers, and more importantly, have a dialogue with them. Direct mail is also a great way to reach a more targeted customer base. TV and radio ads are still effective as well, especially during live events and can’t-miss programming.
Technology brings great changes to our world, but it’s important marketers adapt to make sure their messages stick. Engagement, humanization, and connection are the next step for the advertising world, and PMC is already employing these methods to reach a fan base that is no longer interested in ads. At PMC, our digital marketing team is always looking ahead to find new ways to reach your target customers. We can’t guarantee what the next new technology will be, but we can guarantee that we will be ready to deliver your message in new and creative ways!
(Adblock data from: http://www.cjr.org/analysis/reuters_digital_news_report.php)