If you thought the growth of ad blocking was going to slow anytime soon, it looks as though you were wrong. In December, Digital Content Next (DCN) released results of its research into the area. It found that 33% of US consumers were likely to try out some form of ad blocking software over the following three months. That’s a pretty significant figure.
The report from DCN looked at the whole realm of ad blocking and why it is becoming so popular. It’s interesting to look at some of the findings, and how they could be used to shape the future of online advertising.
What DCN found
The research from DCN did not just look at how ad blocking was likely to grow, but also perceptions of viewers concerning the ads they were subject to. DCN found that.
- 70% of people were unhappy when ads covered content they were viewing or were accompanied by sound.
- 68% of people did not like the idea that ads could track their online behaviours.
- 57% of people thought that the presence of ads had an adverse effect on the speed with which websites loaded.
All of these figures add up to quite a bleak picture when it comes to web users and their view of online advertising.
How big is the issue of ad blocking?
It’s fine to talk about ad blocking, but how much of an issue does it actually present? The fact is that more and more web users are discovering, and using ad blocking. The more ad-blocking solutions become available the more use is likely to grow. Growth is also aligned with the intrusive nature of much online advertising and perceived security issues. While the financial impact is not great right now, this is the time when advertisers need to re-examine their methods and address the increase in ad-blocking.
What is the answer?
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to dealing with the issue of ad blocking. There are three areas that need to feature in any consideration though; effects on website performance, privacy and security. There are ways that advertisers can address all of these issues.
- Speak to customers about their expectations and concerns; find out about any positive experiences with online advertising.
- Request more industry-wide transparency reading what personal information can be tracked.
- Share experiences and findings with others in the industry to improve the overall picture.
There isn’t any quick fix when it comes to addressing the issue of ad blocking, but action does need to be taken. Advertisers need to consider what customers actually want from advertising instead of investing in large blanket campaigns which just serve to encourage the ad blocking trend.