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25 & 26 MARCH 2020


What Do Ad Blockers Mean for Marketers?

The phenomenon of using ad blockers isn’t anything new, and since Apple announced that its new iOS 9 updates would allow the use of ad-blocking apps, Adblock plugins have become more popular than ever.

It was reported nearly 200 million internet users were actively using ad blocking software when going online in June 2015, rising dramatically from 54 million in 2013. In 2017, this figure could grow by double digits.

So who actually uses them? According to research by Statista, Adblock plugins are particularly popular amongst younger internet users, with around a third of those aged between 16 and 24 years old using ad blockers to prevent adverts popping up whilst browsing.  

This does decrease with age though, as only 17% of internet users aged between 55 and 64 years old use the software, and they are much more common with Chrome users as opposed to Firefox users (126 million compared to 48 million for the latter).

As this figure continues to rise, the concern for advertising professionals has increased, as nearly half (46%) are somewhat concerned about ad blockers. However at the same time, around the same amount of advertisers (45%) are not concerned about them at all.

But what do ad blockers really mean for marketers?

Read on to find out:

What challenges do ad blockers pose for marketers?

How can ad blockers be beneficial to marketers?

What challenges do ad blockers pose for marketers?

Many advertising outlets still count blocked ads towards your total impressions, meaning you may end up with additional costs you didn’t expect. Even though the advert is never seen, you're still paying to serve an ad to each of those users - making the impressions a waste of time, and money. After all, you can't get a good return on investment if you can't reach your audience. In fact, every pay for performance and Pay Per Click campaigns could be considered less reliable, as your conversion rate will be harder to track when you don't know how many adverts you've served.

Ad blockers mean consumers can choose whether or not they want to engage with your brand, which means marketers cannot simply rely on pop-up adverts anymore. Jeremy Pearcy, manager of online travel website Sonoran Sun Resort says: “They’re here. There’s no denying or trying to pretend they’re not. So as marketers we need to get creative. I look at it as a challenge and so too should everyone else. Who doesn’t love a good challenge?!”

Some ad blockers are so advanced they can block adverts appearing on giants such as YouTube and Facebook - meaning no platform is safe. This makes it all the more important to have impressive creative that cuts through the noise for your ads that are served correctly.

How can ad blockers be beneficial to marketers?

It’s important to remember people who use ad blockers probably wouldn’t click on your ad anyway, because why would they be using an Adblock plugin in the first place? This means you can refine and target your audience even more than you may have first thought.

Online advertisements aren’t the only content you can produce to connect with consumers. Why not publish some contributed blog posts or photos that appeal to your target audience which also offer helpful insights. Visual marketing techniques such as this are popular amongst marketers who say it is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.

As of yet, there is no universal ad blocker for both desktop and mobile, so whilst you may find it hard to engage with consumers who use Adblock plugins on their laptop, you may be able to reach that same person on their mobile devices. Plus, mobile ad blockers don’t apply to apps, so you can still use app-based advertisements.

Although ad blockers are very much alive and kicking, advertising isn’t going anywhere. According to Power content, “the industry is simply too resilient, too ingrained in human activity, and too much an integrated part of the internet ecosystem to be thwarted by something as fleeting as ad-blocking software”. Ad blockers simply mean marketers will have to think of more creative ways to engage with consumers, which in the long run, will produce closer relationships and build trust between advertiser and consumer, something which is often hard to do.


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