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Why CMOs Should Embrace Ad Blocking

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

According to eMarketer "the percentage of people using ad blockers is growing at a significant rate, though blocking established much of its presence earlier in the decade." They expect three in 10 Internet users will be using blockers by the end of 2018.

This finding is from their recently-released report Ad Blocking in the US: eMarketer's Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2014–2018 which also revealed that the majority of ad blocking occurs on desktop vs. mobile.

eMarketer also cautions advertisers and marketers that while ad blocking "is still in a volatile stage, it is possible
that some sudden advance in technology could greatly alter the rate of blocker adoption by consumers."

Don't Run From It, Run Toward It

The word embrace, in the context of the title of this post means "accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically."

I absolutely believe CMOs and all marketers should willingly and enthusiastically embrace the concept of ad blocking. And so does eMarketer writing that "savvy advertisers might see ad blocking as a useful wake-up call, and not just as a threat."

They even go far to say that some (advertisers and marketers) will "decide blocking does them a favor, by discouraging them from practicing forms of advertising consumers don’t like anyway" and adding that "content and formats that actually appeal to consumers are likely to undercut the market for technologies that push ads away."

I could not agree more with eMarketer on this, especially when you add in the fact that, as they believe a new heretofore unseen technology could come along and expedite greatly the adoption rate of ad blocking used by consumers. 

The Nine Letter Word Every Marketer Needs To Remember At All Times

Way back in January of 2014 - which is only 3 calendar years ago but might as well as be 100 in terms of how fast things change around these parts - I wrote a post for Forbes entitled The Nine Letter Word Every Marketer Needs To Remember At All Times.

The word in question ties directly into the aforementioned "... blocking does them a favor, by discouraging them from practicing forms of advertising consumers don’t like anyway."

The word is relevance.

What you as a marketer sends to, or offers up to a given consumer must be relevant to them. I cannot stress that point any stronger or clearer. And if you don't adhere to the relevance is key edict, take a look at this, from the same Forbes post via MarketingCharts.com. 

As you can clearly see if a marketing effort is mis-targeted AKA irrelevant the action taken by a given consumer is quite decisive. 

And lest you think the chart above is reflective of actions taken after numerous emails being sent to consumers with irrelevant information, here's another number for you: two.

The study referenced in the chart also revealed that nearly half of respondents indicated they automatically delete emails or categorize them as “junk” after receiving just two mis-targeted emails while another 38% said they unsubscribe entirely after receiving two mis-targeted emails.

Please spare me "But Steve this is from 2014" nonsense too for if anything these percentages have increased. 

It's All About the CX, Baby

Pardon my "baby" - just feel like we know each other so well at this point. But, it really is, in many ways, all about the CX or customer experience, which by the way is broken, in case you didn't know. 

But it’s not marketing’s fault. With legacy technology, marketers only get a distorted view of the customer because data silos cannot be shared across channels.

The good news is we're here to help, literally. 

Download Customer Experience Simplified to learn how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

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