What to do about ad blockers?

Senior Consultant

Paul Moss

Senior Consultant

Posted: 14 June 2016

Programmatic ad buying has been on the rise for years now. In fact, programmatic has become such an integral part of the media buying industry that, according to some sources, it's predicted to account for 85% of targeted banners by 2020.

Quite a large chunk, then.

However, as is well documented in the marketing world these days, programmatic is under attack. A recent report by Optimal.com and Wells Fargo Securities (along with MagnaGlobal figures) suggests that ad blockers will put $32 billion of global ad spend at risk by 2019.

In other words, the current state of programmatic represents an unsustainable status quo. The two are on a collision course.

This has sent a wave of concern amongst those in the media buying industry and beyond, and rightly so. Ad blocking represents a serious threat, so much so that the World Federation of Advertisers recently called for a united front against the issue.

It is important to remember that this isn't necessarily different to the challenges marketers have to deal with when customers tune out or opt-out of any brand communications, however. In the world of CRM, for example, individuals have a right to decide whether they would like to view or receive marketing from brands and, if they don't, then who would blame them for blocking brands that they don't want to hear from?

Programmatic can learn a great deal from the CRM industry in its bid to stave off the threat from ad blockers. If customers are bombarded with poorly targeted or irrelevant messages, offers and content then they either start ignoring it or they unsubscribe altogether, the latter being the equivalent to ad blocking.

We address this by ensuring we have a detailed view of business and customer intelligence. We use our experts in data, creative, content and distribution to work in harmony with each other and deliver a relevant message with true value for the recipient.

Crucial to this is the use of first party data as a priority over second and third. Individual data offers the greatest opportunity for more precise targeting and deeper personalisation. Knitting CRM and digital data is a clear advantage when connecting customer journeys; it extends the reach and paints a broader picture, but it must be used wisely.

The opportunities are there for intelligent programmatic advertising to drive huge improvements in cut-through and ROI for advertisers. The industry needs to ensure it is using the insight available to it to effectively tackle the ad blocking menace.

Paul Moss
Senior Consultant