The mobile marketing industry is buzzing with what mobile ad blockers could mean for advertising and publishing alike. Much of the conversation implies the end of advertising as we know it — but could ad blockers actually mean better advertising for everyone? That was the sentiment of Tom Goodwin, SVP of Strategy and Innovation at Havas Media, during our latest webinar, “Immobilized: Is Mobile Ad Blocking the End of Mobile Marketing?” He joined a panel of experts in the ad blocking space, including Roi Carthy, Chief Marketing Officer at Shine; Steve Chester, Director of Data & Industry Programs at the UK Internet Advertising Bureau; and John Koetsier, Mobile Economist at TUNE. Below are five highlights from their animated discussion covering all sides of the mobile ad blocking discussion.
1. No Matter Who or Where You Are, Ad Blocking Is on the Rise
We’ve published several reports and articles that show not only is mobile ad blocking skyrocketing — so much so that 80% of mobile users could be blocking ads by late 2017 — but ad blocking isn’t limited to one gender, region, or demographic. While reasons for blocking ads vary, people report overarching concerns about privacy, data usage, and the overall mobile experience.
2. Mobile Ad Blocking Is a Perfect Storm
Although advertising has recently been the subject of much public outcry, advertising itself isn’t anything new. It’s been around for ages, and surprisingly, ads from 30 years ago don’t look all too different from ads you might see while scrolling through Instagram today. What changed is that digital advertising was introduced to the traditional channels like print and television. As the newest medium, digital advertising budgets started out small, production was limited, and quality was often overlooked. This led to intrusive, poor, irrelevant ads and — you guessed it — the plea for ad blockers.
3. Mobile Ad Blocking Isn’t the End of Advertising; It’s the End of BAD Advertising
Advertising itself isn’t what turns consumers off; rather, ads that are intrusive or irrelevant are what sends audiences fleeing. Advertisers should aim instead for personalized ads that favor relevance over stalking, production quality over efficiency, creativity over redundancy, and value over price. Consider experiences like Nike+; although it’s fully-branded content, it’s loved, welcomed, and enjoyed by consumers.Mobile ad blocking isn't the end of advertising; it's the end of BAD advertising. Click To Tweet
4. Publishers Are Finding Ways to Circumvent Mobile Ad Blockers
Publishers are scrambling to find creative solutions that don’t alienate consumers from unwanted advertisements. Forbes requires ad blockers be turned off. Wired solicits a fee for an ad-free environment. Guardian requires membership for an adless experience. Other sites are relying on tip jars, white labeling, and publisher alliances to fund their websites without advertising.
5. People Would Turn off Ad Blockers If They Found Ads to Be More Relevant
As a testament to reimagining advertising, most consumers said they would actually turn off their mobile ad blockers if they found advertising more valuable. In addition to designing ads that are more personalized to users, marketers should work on bolstering the entire ad experience. That means lighter file sizes, better encryption, obvious opt-outs, and non-invasive user experiences like covered content or blaring sounds.
To hear more from our panel of experts, including a variety of accompanying charts, data, and access to full reports, view the webinar recording at your leisure. And be sure to check out our upcoming webinars about everything mobile marketing.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.