Effective digital advertising in an ad-blocked world


Jul 23 2020

At the end of 2019, AdAge forecasted that in 2020, the internet will account for more than half of both U.S. and worldwide advertising spend for the first time. Digital advertising has numerous benefits and has emerged during the pandemic as a key way for brands to keep in touch with their consumers during lockdown. However, as more and more consumers enlist adblocking software to clean up their internet experience, many marketers who rely on digital advertising are becoming concerned.

Put simply, an adblocker is a piece of software that is installed on a device to prevent display ads from being shown. The most popular adblockers exist as internet browser ad-ons, preventing any website that is being accessed on that browser from showing an ad to the user. Adblock usage varies widely by region, with approximately 25% of users in the US using ad blockers to clean up their internet usage (Statista). In APAC, this number is even higher, with Global Web Index reporting that 49% of internet users aged 16-64 are using some form of adblocking software.

While adblocking emerges as a key concern of many digital marketers today, particularly as uptake across the region grows, brands and marketers should not write off digital advertising completely. Instead, businesses should focus their efforts on ensuring a positive online experience for their customers, following these three steps.

  1. Provide a clean and non-intrusive advertising experience

Research by Global Web Index indicates that the three most common reasons for consumers to block ads are: too many ads (48%), ads that are annoying or irrelevant (47%) and ads that are too intrusive (44%). These three key motivators ultimately boil down to one underlying reason – a poor user experience. As programmatic advertising grows in popularity and brands relinquish some control over where their ads are placed, marketers must ensure they hold on to an understanding of the user experience they are providing with their ads, including where they are being placed and the frequency at which they are being shown. While effective digital advertising can shift the dial on key marketing metrics, a poor experience may do the opposite, leaving a lasting negative impression on consumers.

Key takeaway: Brands must maintain visibility on where their ads are being placed. In doing so, brands can ensure their ads provide a positive user experience, minimizing the risk of damaging brand perception from displaying disruptive or intrusive ad formats.

  1. Ensure all ads are relevant and valuable to their audience

The rise of digital advertising over the past decade has been largely due to the sophisticated audience targeting capabilities the format affords brands. Advertisers can go beyond reaching consumers at a certain time or place, instead targeting audiences based on past exposure to the brand, general interests, past purchase behavior, household income, lifecycle stage and more. Because of this, there is no longer any excuse for brands to be serving ads that are clearly irrelevant to the audience – for example, targeting users in a different language to the content they are browsing.

Key takeaway: Brands should be employing digital targeting techniques to ensure they are reaching the right customer. Through a combination of psychographic targeting and remarketing, brands can reach both current and potential customers while ensuring each ad placement remains relevant to the viewer.

  1. Add alternate online advertising formats to the marketing mix

While digital display is the most commonly employed digital advertising method, brands should consider introducing a combination of other digital advertising formats into their marketing mix to ensure they reach their entire target audience, including those who choose to use adblocking tools. Depending on marketing objectives, brands may choose to enlist a combination of paid search ads, influencer marketing, native advertising and content marketing to achieve a mix of awareness and conversion-driving tactics while also having a greater platform to tell brand stories to drive deeper connections with their target audiences.

Key takeaway: While display advertising remains both relevant and efficient, brands may achieve greater results when combining a display campaign with a longer-format solution, such as influencer marketing. Doing so allows brands to tell their brand story while reaching a wider audience.

How Tag can help:

We create digital marketing campaigns proven to shift the dial on key metrics. With a consumer-led, data-driven approach, we aim to maximize the value of every marketing dollar, ensuring your campaigns deliver impact to your audiences. In today’s increasingly adblocked world, our services are becoming more relevant than ever. We help our clients with:

Precision Marketing

We help to identify and segment your audiences in detail, creating marketing campaigns that reach the right people, with the right message, at the right place and the right time.

Influencer Management

We work with brands to ideate influencer campaigns that shift the dial on your key marketing metrics. We manage the process end-to-end, from initial engagement to analytics and reporting.

Social Content Creation

Our team have social listening capabilities to keep on the pulse of consumer sentiment. Using these insights, we create content that leverages trends to stimulate consumer interest in your brand.

Data-Driven Digital Campaigns

We work with a data-first approach, measuring and tracking campaigns to ensure results. We design campaigns to move your consumers along the decision journey, from awareness to conversion.

Schedule a call today to discuss how we can support your digital marketing needs.

Related reads:

5 steps to boost ecommerce success

6 steps to building an influencer marketing strategy to connect with the at-home audience

Data-driven marketing: Why effectiveness matters more than ever before

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