Ad Blockers: What they are and what to do about them

Jackson-Alissa-RicciBy Alissa Ricci, Media Supervisor

It seems like every trade newsletter I open contains a headline related to ad blocking. While the percentage of Internet users employing ad blockers ranges from 20 percent to 30 percent, depending on the source, all seem to agree that it is noteworthy for advertisers to consider.

ad-blockingMost programmatic partners should be monitoring ad blocking using various verification technologies. Some publishers are blocking users that have blockers installed. Taking it a step further, Facebook started unrolling technology to impede ad blockers during the first week of August. This isn’t surprising, considering that 96 percent of Facebook’s revenue is generated from ads, according to eMarketer. Though this method isn’t foolproof, says AdBlock Plus’s spokesman Ben Williams, this does make us question how advertisers should handle this latest challenge.

I understand why Facebook and other sites need to protect themselves by stopping ad blockers, but it seems a bit elementary to me. Part of the onus is on media professionals to find new ways to reach the target consumer. Perhaps the solution isn’t to block the blockers, but to focus on giving the people what they want, when they want it; by delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

There are several ways to accomplish this through appropriate targeting techniques, but marketers can take it beyond even the traditional demographic, geographic, day part targeting. Native advertising or content advertising can be highly effective, placing useful, relatable information where readers are already engaged in content. They key here is that the ad does contain useful and relatable content. If users click on a native ad, and the landing page content is subpar, they aren’t likely to recall the ad or even convert later on. In fact, lackluster content may even leave a bad taste in their mouths.

Exploring new platforms is another path to reach your consumer without having to out-block the blockers. At the recent MediaPost Programmatic Insider Summit, panelist Lindsay Pullin touts Snapchat for the unique way in which it creates a user experience that engages and entertains. In another MediaPost blog, Craig Key points to how successful Snapchat is in creating connections with potential customers.

While it may sound cliché, thinking outside the box with regard to paid media advertising might be the best way to go one step beyond blocking the blockers. New tactics and platforms can help enhance a brand and deliver a message in a way that truly connects and engages your target audience.