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Ad-block blues: a survival guide

Ad blockers? Old news. But their uptake among consumers—10% growth over the past year—isn’t abating, especially among the coveted millennial demographic, where, according to e-marketer, two-thirds block ads.

Here’s how smart advertisers & publishers will navigate in 2017 and beyond, according to the tech soothsayers at Mashable and TheNextWeb:

Get creative with creative.

For ad-blocking consumers, sometimes the best way to reach them is with a smile, like this hilarious “The ad can see you” promotion for a Netflix series that itself predicts a chilling future of diminished personal privacy.

“Native advertising” are not dirty words.

Hate native ads? Don’t. True, the much-derided promotional content that’s camouflaged amid editorial content is like a Washington lobbyist: a slick way to push an agenda. But like a Washington lobbyist, they’re how the job gets done…and they’re how savvy players will survive and thrive.

Make it suck less.

Relevance is the lifeblood of customers’ attention. By making ads more personal—wanted by 80% of consumers in an Adobe survey—advertisers and publishers have a shot at survival.

Go with the growers.

Retailers who saw site-traffic growth over the past three years were more likely to rely on “conversational” channels for their traffic – getting about 2x more traffic from social and email than shrinking sites got. Mastering these tougher channels is no longer optional.

You get what you pay for.

In a world where The New York Times made more money from subscribers than advertisers, publishers will face growing pressure to realign business models around monthly subscriptions—shrinking ad inventory in the process.

Can’t beat ‘em? Pay ‘em.

AdBlockPlus and their sanctimonious peers are happy to take publishers’ money in order to un-block ads under certain conditions, and many companies—Google, Amazon, Microsoft—are simply writing those checks. Capitalism at its finest!