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Of Ad Blocking and Online Marketing: How to Counter the Threat

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Today’s consumers are on the lookout for experiences that add value to their lifestyles. They are tech-savvy, demanding, and wary of marketers. Just pithy sales messages and cheesy one-liners are not appreciated. Annoying advertisements are immediately shut out. It’s certainly no big deal for customers, but a huge loss for the brand. Chances are the numbers can be huge. The reason being that consumers simply do not like marketers encroaching their personal space with irrelevant messages. The threat of ad blockers is looming and marketers need to act, fast.

Who’s blocking ads—and why

According to research conducted by Adobe and PageFair, people within the age groups of 18-29 are most likely to use . Gaming sites have the highest ad-blocking rates followed by social networking. There can be several reasons as to why people block ads. Users can find pop-ups to be an irritant especially when they are irrelevant. Ads also affect device speed. Other reasons why ad blocking software is rampantly used are prevention of cookie tracking and sometimes, to improve bandwidth or battery life.

Dealing with ad-blocking: marketer’s perspective

1. Advertisements, with their sounds and animation, can be a distraction for users. Spraying ads that hold no relevance to viewers can also lead to ad blocking. To counter this, digital marketing firms should focus on creating individualized ads and sending them to targeted clusters only. Programmatic solutions are gaining ground. This will not only stop ad blocking, but also lead to higher impressions. Increasing the level of relevance and personalization will make it harder for customers to completely ignore advertising.

2. Native advertising and transactional advertising work great to deter ad blocking. Native advertising allows ads to appear in the same format as the page they are on.  Transactional advertising serve as single touch points for making purchases.

3. Marketers, in order to not encroach upon consumer space, now have taken to permission marketing. They gather approval from consumers to allow sending promotional material. This way they are able to reach out to their consumers only with their consent.


I feel it’s time for advertisers to educate consumers that all ads are not entirely noise. To achieve this, content developers should focus on delivering creative, value-adding content. This will act as a double-edged sword—not only deterring ad blocking, but also leading to more engagement.

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