Ad Blocking. Pros or Cons… or both?

Is Ad Blocking Great for Users? Not so Great for Advertisers? Terrible for Publishers?

Ad blocking applications and browser add-ons are increasing in popularity. Remember pop-up ads back in the day? We’ve had pop-up ad blockers for a long time. While on-site display ad blockers aren’t new, they are getting a lot more attention these days as major websites – like Facebook, whose entire business model relies on advertising –  become more vulnerable. Approximately 15% of US users utilize ad blockers of some sort.
Imagine visiting your normal routine of websites in a day and not seeing any ads or sponsored elements vying for your attention. Does the vision of a clean, straightforward website experience come to mind?

What does ad blocking look like on a website?

Ad Blocker Turned Off
Ad Blocking Turned off Mlive screen shot
Ad Blocker Turned On

Ad Blocker Turned On Mlive
Look Mom, No Ads!

Now, imagine the business you work for, who tries to reach their target audiences through advertisements, retargeting ads or even simply via Facebook and targeting those that best fit your buyer personas. And, they can’t reach them anymore.

What Are the Pros & Cons of Ad Blocking Software?

Pros of Ad Blocking

Better user experience overall
Some improvement of website speed and load times, including lower data usage
Encourage marketers and companies to be more relevant and engaging in connecting with customers
Creation of more shareable content – that people find entertaining, helpful or beneficial and want to share it with others
Increased focus on quality of ads and connections instead of just quantity of impressions

Cons of Ad Blocking

Companies may struggle to reach their target audiences as effectively
Media and other websites could become subscription based, since display advertising had been their revenue model. It is estimated that ad blocking cost publishers $22 Million on 2015
Visitors may not be able to access articles or websites to make money via advertising
Smaller businesses could see a more significant impact in the inability to reach their target audiences

Blocking Ads on Facebook

A recent article on covers how Facebook continues to adjust their coding to avoid being recognized by major ad blockers. We suspect that many large websites that make money on advertising will continue to try and do the same, like Google. In that same note, there is always talk of Facebook’s continued changes in their algorithm to allow people to see more posts from their friends and family members than business pages. Making Facebook a pay to play environment for businesses who want to increase their reach to existing fans, and to acquire new fans.
Our advice to you and your marketing team. Focus on integrated marketing efforts. Small business or big business, there is no one magic marketing channel or piece. Your marketing must include good, no… GREAT content for your target audiences. This can be written, image based, videos, and should be shared via your website, social media channels, direct mail, print publications, email marketing, digital radio and more.
Marketing your business will continue to be an exercise in creativity, customer focus, empathy and will be done via paid, owned and earned channels. Ad blocking will continue to increase in adoption by everyone, including your customers. This will include browsers, and more ad blocking via mobile devices in the very near future.

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