Why Ad-Blocking is at a Three Year Low.

If you were to say you’ve never been irritated by an ad or pop-up, you’d be lying. With pop-ups and banners appearing on most sites, it’s no surprise that consumers have turned to ad-blockers in an effort to avoid them. Google’s even developing an update that will potentially prevent the use of ad-blockers on their search platform.

Last year, a survey from the Association for Online Publishing (AOP) took an in-depth look at the trends in ad-blocker use. The results showed that online ad-blocking was at an all-time high in 2016, with 30.6% of ads being restricted by ad-blocking programs.

Ad-blocking is a clear message from consumers that our ads do not serve them. Having been so overrun with banners and pop-ups, they have developed the belief that ads are ‘frustrating, unwanted and irrelevant’. So, advertisers have been forced to change tact.

It seems to have worked; with the AOP also highlighting that ad-blocking hit its lowest point in the last three years during Q4 of 2018 – falling to an incredible 10.3% . So what have we done to change the industry, to change the mindset of an online mass?

Customer-Centricity

There are a number of ways for advertisers to place customer interest at the core of our campaigns; as discussed by Product Development Manager Fred Maude in last summer’s NMPignite seminar. By providing users with valuable experiences, we can begin to alleviate the rise in ad blocking. With the development of AI and more sophisticated data collection methods, we can make ads which are more personalised than ever.  Precise user information allows us to alter advertising creatives and placement to have maximum impact.

The Customer is ALWAYS right” Fred Maude

In short; If we deliver something that is tailored to their wants and needs, they will be more likely to engage with the ad.

User Experience

In order to make campaigns more customer-centric, we must consider the user experience as a whole. Using cookies and integrated data, we are able to build a greater picture of the user in order to connect with them and encourage engagement. Content should be created around their needs and help them identify how the brand can solve their unique problems.

A big part of the online experience involves the way consumers react to ads. Interestingly, choice can play a big role in this, with 79% of customers claiming they would consider uninstalling an ad blocker if they had the choice to close, skip, or ignore ads. This provides the option to engage in the content or not and can offer more accurate data on impressions and conversion rates.

Similarly, consider an advert that is not only customer-centric, but also contextual to the consumer’s current phase of the online journey. By placing ads on contextually relevant sites, and remarketing products that customers have already engaged with, we can change the function of the ad to a ‘helpful shopping tool’. This, paired with the rise of online shopping and ‘browsing culture’ has allowed ads to hold their own.

It’s clear that the consumer experience of Display and PPC ads has changed dramatically in recent years. The decrease in blocker use clearly reveals that advertising strategies have shifted  In a way that users are responding well to.

With this in mind, ensure that your ads focus on customer centricity and the user experience. This will allow us to continue to improve our audience’s relationship with advertising.