adblockTo a greater or lesser extent, each of us has a story to tell about a bad encounter with online advertising, be it a pop-up or a video interstitial.  Understandably, when we feel bothered by something, we react by running away or avoiding it. In the world of digital marketing it means we won’t visit the specific website anymore, switch to banner blindness, or install an Adblocker.

With a vengeance, the advertising industry is struggling to attract the attention of customers, pushing pop-ups into the visual field of viewers who are desperately looking for a way to get rid of them. Especially on mobile devices this can become a lengthy process: Although it is generally possible to skip the advertisement after five seconds, the user must hang in there to get the desired content that follows. Strange that to this day advertisers still have great hopes of making a positive impact on the advertised brands. Anyway, the contest, which is now no longer only with the conscious ignoring of banner ads, but also on a technical level with Adblocker, is far from over - rather it has just begun.

The Customer Experience suffers, don’t you see it?

Falling prices for ads trigger that more available budget is invested in a wider range rather than better quality. Unfortunately, more ads mean more interruptions and consequently more annoyances among the users. Some companies even pay the provider of the Adblocker to make sure they reach their target group, and even Google is planning a kind of similar model for its browser.

But shouldn’t our industry, instead of constantly complaining about Adblockers, search for solutions that show advertising in a way that is acceptable for the user and makes Adblockers become obsolete again?

Currently, however, Adblockers are heavily on the rise, as quite a number of studies confirm, and the majority of the Millennials have banned advertising already from all screens.

From the consumer’s perspective, it isn’t difficult to understand that since there are many good reasons for using Adblockers. Nobody likes the often badly conceived and mostly irrelevant advertisements, that often make use of the whole screen of mobile devices.

We, as the advertising industry on the other hand, should perceive Adblockers more as what they really are - NOT as a threat, but a warning from consumers who want to tell us that we have gone too far.

Transforming the vicious circle into a virtuous circle of insights and progress

For a long time, news agencies and publishers have provided their content free of charge, but when information was increasingly being retrieved exclusively via the Internet, and the print editions were being replaced, new possibilities had to be created to cover the costs. That’s why so-called payment restrictions have been introduced for certain contents and ad placements have also increased, which of course influenced the reading experience of customers and had an adversely effect on consumers.

Attention should at least be paid to the following things so that the Customer Experience does not suffer:

  • The loading time of the pages should not be affected by advertising.
  • Try to provide relevant ads to the user, as they are perceived as less disruptive and will get more clicks and views.
  • The optics of the site is still crucial. If too much of your branding gets lost, because only advertisements are still flashing, a page does not look very trustworthy. In the long run, users and advertisers will stay away.
  • Since the trend goes towards the smaller screens of mobile devices, less disturbing advertising is much more tolerable than big ising banners.

Full-screen pop-ups have an extremely high rejection rate as many complain and hate to desperately look for the small, almost invisible cross to close such advertising, but mobile advertising and the video interstitialsare right on their heels in their unpopularity. Overall, advertising is perceived as more intrusive than ever, so that it can be expected that users are refining their avoidance strategies.

Certainly, it won’t help the advertising industry to push further, as users then only equip themselves the more with Adblockers. Especially on mobile devices the Adblockers are on the rise and the more in countries where the Internet access is primarily through mobile (currently estimated at 90%), although the users by no means are overall depreciatory. They clearly differentiate which ads have a benefit for them and which they find particularly annoying. And of course, there are also formats that are perceived as useful, such as ads in the search results or advertising in social media. The fact is that users want to have control over their online experience. Waiting and limited loading times by ads are usually rejected, and today’s digital marketing industry must adapt to the wishes of the crowd.

By Daniela La Marca