This trend has serious ramifications for online businesses that rely on advertising revenue. Many people are affirming ad blocking as the death of the Internet – as you would expect from people on the Internet. But it is more likely that ad blocking will promote a new advertising standard, where there are acceptable, non-intrusive ads that ‘pass’ the blocker test and all others are intercepted.
I for one would welcome this. Many sites (especially news sites) have gone OTT with ads that dominate pages. This may have calmed down slightly what with the ad blocking trend, but too many times have ads ruined the UX of pages I land on. It should not be forgotten, however, that ads do have an important role in the economy of the Internet and, done right, targeted ads can be beneficial to users.
At this point in time though, with a ‘blanket approach’ being applied to ad blocking, what are the implications for marketers?
The marketing impact
Aside from your ads being seen less, this trend sends a clear message – buyers simply don’t want to know. People mostly lament advertisements. Ad blocking is the response and it’s a movement that’s part of a wider trend: consumer empowerment.
Consumers have more choice, more information and thus more control than ever before, thanks to the Internet. They (I should say we) choose not see ads, walk away when an online experience isn’t to their liking and seek information from a potentially unlimited pool before making purchasing decisions.
That’s why inbound marketing is the solution, not just to ad blocking, but to online brand communication as a whole.
Inbound isn’t about pushing messages to users, it’s about attracting users with valuable content – further empowering consumers with information.
Your ads may not be seen, but your interesting, useful and engaging content will. Plus web users won’t deplore you for it! The inbound methodology is about attracting visitors, leads and customers by sharing your knowledge and appealing to customers at every stage of their buying journey.
This is a striking contrast to the outbound approach of broadcasting messages and hoping that your target buyer sees one at a time that’s right for them, at the right stage of their buying journey.