Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rise in ad-blocking = rise of creative digital marketing

The usage of ad blocking is on the rise. A recent techcrunch article mentioned that today ~198M people globally use ad-blocking software (original numbers from Adobe and PageFair). This could cost publishers $22B in revenues annually. Such a rise in use of ad-blocking software is leading to a lot of debates on the effect that this will have on publishers, various ad agencies and other websites whose primary business model is advertising.

An interesting viewpoint is that the effects might not be as negative as initially thought to be. Ad-blocking software would not allow ads of publishers to appear on websites but that wasn't a big part of advertising for a lot of publishers to start with. Such ads are often only a component of the total 'digital marketing package' for publishers. Also, blocking of blatant product/service ads just means that publishers need to get more creative about the way in which they are reaching out to their target customers. Its important to note that ad-blockers don't block all types of ads and some ads can be whitelisted (publishers need to apply for whitelisting) - there are various criteria for a publisher's ad to be whitelisted and publishers can create campaigns or ads (based on content or customer data used) that fit this criteria. Ad-blocking is not a black or white concept and ad-blockers are eventually getting smarter about what type of ads are really useful to the customers and those that are intrusive and irritating.

Supporters of ad-blockers make the argument that rise of ad-blocking software will only weed out those publishers/ad agencies that bombard target customers with 'non-creative' ads and by using personal data from various third-party websites. Increased usage of ad-blocking software also highlights the fact that publishers need to get more creative about the way they interact with various social media platforms (facebook, twitter, snapchat etc.) on which their target customers spend a majority of their time. This could mean generating great digital content (text, videos, photos etc.) and running campaigns that attract their target customers rather than bombarding them with ads that they don't like.

Some really good articles on this can be found on the following links:

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