Posted by IndustryArchive Admin on 02/12/2017 Advertising

Ad Blocking the Alternative Solution Is Easy No Ads

By: Robert Hennessey

Ad Blocking the Alternative Solution Is Easy No Ads

Prohibiting ad blocking to view your content is not an indication of respect for your B2B customers. In fact, just the opposite it says we are arrogant, and you need us. Hardly a message that is helpful in building B2B customer trust and confidence.

Remember when information or knowledge is power was an accepted fact? Well, that may be no longer important. Everyday information and knowledge are available for "free" on the Internet. The catch is you must give up your personal information to get this "free" information. The real power in marketing today is contact data not access to information.

In a rush to increase ad revenue and secure the data necessary to generate ad revenue several things have happened.

  1. Advertisers and ad servers have abused the Internet User.

  2. Advertisers continue to justify ad-supported content as the only way to deliver their marketing messages to keep content "free."

  3. Advertisers push the myth that ads help users when they are looking for goods & services. The reality is the ads allow data collection to promote more ads and then trade or sell the data they collect to third parties creating more revenue streams.

  4. The Internet User globally is reacting with an ever-increasing use of ad-blockers. Ad blocking is up 41% between 2014 -2015 globally according to a PageFair and Adobe 2015 Ad Blocking Report.

  5. The Internet User has pushed back with a growing use of ad-blocking software to:

a. Protect their privacy

b. Stop annoying ads and ad delivery

c. Protect themselves against hacking, viruses & malware

6. There are alternatives to Ads, but Advertisers seem reluctant to change. Investments in^ ad server technology, data management, and big data sales revenue deter the impetus to change. And, alternatives to ads seem unlikely unless Internet Users force them.

Ad Blocking Continues to Grow in the U.S. & Globally

Ad blocking in the U.S. and globally is growing at significant rates. Two recent studies the latest by eMarketer.com June 2015 say that more than 25% of Internet users will block ads this year. That is a 34% year over year increase, and they project a 24% increase in the coming year.













Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/US-Ad-Blocking-Jump-by-Double-Digits-This-Year/1014111?ecid=NL1001 

The U.S. is not alone in experiencing adblock growth. Globally ad blocking is growing and in many parts of the world exceeding the U.S. numbers and rate of growth. According to a study 2014 to 2015 study conducted in the US and Europe, ad blocking is on the rise, surprised? You are probably not. However, here are some highlights from this study that may surprise you.

  • Globally, the number of people using ad-blocking software grew by 41% year over year.

  • Ad block usage in the United States grew 48% during the past year, increasing to 45 million monthly active users (MAUs) during Q2 2015.

  • Ad block usage in Europe grew by 35% during the past year, increasing to 77 million monthly active users during Q2 2015.

  • With the ability to block ads becoming an option on the new iOS 9, mobile is starting to get into the ad blocking game. Currently, Firefox and Chrome lead the mobile space with 93% share of mobile ad blocking.

Source: https ://pagefair.com/blog/2015/ad-blocking -report/

Other studies that delve deeper into the demographics of ad blockers find that better educated and affluent people represent a top-heavy percentage of users in the use of ad blocking.

A study from Sourcepoint and comScore report affluent people represent a disproportionate percentage of users in the use of ad blocking. They report that the highest wage earners in almost all markets use desktop ad blockers.

Source: http://www.slideshare.net/sourcepoint/the-state-of-ad-blocking-september-2015? 


Why Ad Blocking Is Growing

Here are some sentiments voiced by those that use ad blocking:

"Maybe if the ads weren't so bloated, annoying, difficult to distinguish from content all the time, and didn't spread infections through ad servers that are poorly maintained they wouldn't be blocked as much."

"I really, Really, REALLY, REALLY don't want to be spied upon (tracked)."

I think we all experience times that either we wish we were using ad-blocking or using ad blocking makes us glad. Ad blocking makes the Web bearable and reduces concern about how this is affecting our privacy.

In a world in which our privacy is either being voluntarily traded as currency to get something for "free." Which actually does not make the item you receive free you just paid for it with your contact information.

Any wonder why Microsoft paid the princely sum of $26.2 billion to buy LinkedIn, more data on more people. Prepare now to grasp the many ways your data from LinkedIn will now start showing up via its new partner Microsoft. By the way, you cannot use LinkedIn without allowing ads. Expect even more websites to require disabling your ad-blocking software in light of this combination.

Far worse than having ads popping up all over our computer screens is being hacked by others or worse computer viruses being spread through ad servers. It all adds up to one thing, how important is that ad to you?

I for one became one of the statistics in the PageFair and Adobe 2015 Ad Blocking Report referenced above. In 2014, I could not take it anymore and downloaded ad-blocking software. Most of the time I don't even know it's working. Until I visit a website that tells me I have to allow ads to view their content. Then I have to decide how important viewing the content to me is versus giving up my privacy. Well recently, I stopped visiting FORBES because they require you to allow ads on their website.

Now they are displaying Forbes Ad-Light that uses "a less intrusive advertising experience for 30 days." The truth about using the term less intrusive is equivalent to saying that the water is less polluted, still polluted just less of it. And, after 30 days then what will happen? When they return to a more intrusive advertising; they do not tell you what that means.

What I find most interesting is how the media says they "value their audience" when they only value the money that can be made from selling access to that audience or their contact data. Ad Light by Forbes.com may be acknowledging the concern that Internet advertisers are becoming more cautious. Like many others that make money from serving ads to its "valued audience," these reports on ad blocking are becoming worrisome.

So What Is the Alternative to Ad-Blocking?

The future for ads and ad blocking is going to get interesting, as more ads begin to appear on cell phone web browsers. As more and more ads are just beginning to pop up, no pun intended, on our phones, the use of ad blocking will surely follow. If ads are annoying on a desktop or tablet, then they are truly infuriating on your phone.

Those that support the concept that you get "free content" because ads support its cost say ad-supported content could be in jeopardy and are already getting nervous. They should be because they have billions of ad dollars that are disappearing to worry about, almost 22 billion in 2015 according to the PageFair/Adobe Report.

To consumers of content, I say do not worry; you have two things to gain your privacy and self-respect. Assuredly there are not only other ways to deliver content but better ways that protect personal privacy and dignity. The stimulus to encourage change is to use ad-blocking software. This will bring about the changes that will end the insanity we currently endure.

One of the obvious alternatives to Internet Ads is content marketing. However, many people place their content behind forms. This requires a personal information currency exchange to get the content. If you did not need to register or complete a form to get content, then content marketing is a great way to convert sales prospects into customers. The trick is you must create quality relevant content that your sales prospects want not sales pitches.

Influencer marketing is another possibility. The caution with Influencer marketing is whether the Internet user is getting an honest recommendation. Many advertisers pay for Influencer recommendations. Influencer recommendations are supposed to be legitimate word-of-mouth marketing. However, this could lead to abuse as big advertisers look for ways to co-opt the Influencer to their benefit exclusively. Influencer marketing strikes me like an anonymous advertorial. However, these would be more deceptive than an advertorial published by an advertiser with their name prominently on display. Internet users beware!

So what are some additional options that could replace the current ad-supported content approach? Oh, I do not know how about any of the following:

  • Purchase content that you really want in micropayments based on author or website reputation
  • Content is paid for based on page views or download royalties or both
  • Pay for content, only if you think it was valuable
  • Subscribe to online content without ads - example Google YouTube Red features Ad-free A videos
  • No advertising websites with high quality, relevant content that respect its audience ¬examples IndustryArchive.org

I know there are a lot smarter people than me that can produce alternative ways to deliver quality content without annoying ads. Please give us any thoughts you might have to share.

Bottom Line

The Internet is changing a lot for old school and new digital age advertisers. While technology can empower advertising, it can also empower Internet Users. Making the Internet better for everyone will require mutual Advertiser and User respect:

  • by Advertisers for Users;

□  in how advertisers present their marketing messages

  without privacy invasion and transparent

  • by Users for Advertisers

  to accept transparent forms of advertising

  to accept that there may be a cost

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