The Rise of Ad Blockers

As consumers are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and active across digital devices, they’re also taking more control of how they prefer to consume media. Marketers must stay relevant in order to stay connected with their ever-evolving consumers.

Cold calling is no longer effective and consumers are always unsubscribing from unwanted email lists or reporting them as spam. With all the extra noise and interruptions, users are especially taking advantage of ad blockers – which can serve as a challenging barrier between a brand and its target audience.

According to eMarketer, nearly 1 in 5 Internet users is utilizing ad blockers. The main reason: the ads are annoying and/or intrusive, the ads interfere with what the user is trying to do, or the ads are irrelevant to the user.

Have no fear, marketers. There are still ways to effectively deliver your ads to the right people. The key is to keep your consumers in mind as you develop your strategy and deliver your campaigns.

1. Be at the Right Place at the Right Time

The primary reason why Internet users utilize ad blockers is to avoid interruptive ad placements that get in the way of a page’s content, especially ads that follow them around the page as they scroll or play audio and video automatically.

Successful advertising is about respecting user behaviors and being mindful of their user experience. This means one of the most important aspects of delivering effective ads is timing.

Timing has a powerful impact on positive brand experience and even purchase behavior. If your ads seamlessly appear during natural breaks of in-app activity, consumers are less likely to be irritated and utilize an ad blocker.

For example, a study by IPG Lab showed that consumers are much more likely to respond positively to an ad during a positive moment, such as when a user completes a workout in a fitness app, wins a level in a mobile gaming app or checks off an item on a to-do list.

By reaching audiences at an optimal time when their attention or happiness levels are at their peak, marketers are increasing the opportunity for positive engagements.

2. Never Underestimate the Power of Relevant Content

In addition to delivering ads at an optimal time, it’s essential to place content that is actually relevant to your ideal consumers. Simply said, deliver your ads to people who have already expressed an interest in your product and/or service – not just a random bulk of unengaged strangers.

People like to feel understood without feeling interrupted. A good way to enhance personal relevance without overstepping privacy boundaries is to deliver ads that are in tune with the digital environment.

For example, a user who sees native ads about your new mobile app displayed on a digital marketing technologies website is much more likely to perceive the ad as relevant and non-interruptive.

According to a Millward Brown survey concerning video ads, 41% of users were receptive to ads targeted based on their interests while only 25% were receptive to basic retargeting ads that were strictly based on their browsing history.

Delivering ads solely based on user browsing history also does not constitute “relevance” that is perceived positively by consumers.

Behavioral targeting, which analyzes how consumers engage across offline, online and mobile platforms, allows for comprehensive profiles of each individual.

By understanding your consumers on a more personal level, you can deliver the most appropriate ads that are in tune with their unique behaviors, interests and preferences.

3. Brand on Social Media

According to a study by ComScore, the users who implement ad blockers most are millennials – users from ages 18 through 24.

ad blockers

The same study showed that people were nearly twice as likely to respond positively to brand content displayed on social media than they were to block the ads. Of all respondents, millennials were the most likely to say they were more open to receiving and engaging with social media brand content.

In addition to the timing and relevant content, it’s essential to recognize your target audience’s most preferred media platforms.

Brands must stay connected with their audience and overcome the rise of ad blockers by re-engaging their users and placing relevant messages across their social media feeds (i.e. Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.).

At the heart of all of your marketing campaigns should be a rich understanding of how today’s on-the-go users engage with your brand.

This way, you can display your ads in a seamless process that is relevant and perceived positively, thus overcoming ad blockers, increasing consumer engagement and boosting conversions.

Donna Hong

Author Donna Hong

Brand Marketing Manager

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