Ad blockers may not be the bad news we all fear

Ad blockers have given advertisers and brands alike a bit of a scare. Ads are a necessary part of the ecosystem, because they form a major source of revenue for online publishers. But due to slow-loading websites and the distraction of overly cluttered webpages, many people have come to hate online advertising and have welcomed ad-blockers.

Ad-blocking software has become the popular kid in school, precisely because of it stops online ads from appearing and following us around the Internet. It’s had the global advertising industry up in arms for a while now, but what about South Africa? According to recent studies undertaken by Effective Measure, 46.7% of South Africans don’t even know what an ad-blocker is, with 28.56% having never used one before.

Adapt or die in the land of ad blockers

For many in the advertising world, online ads are a primary source of revenue. This revenue often enables the supply of free, quality content by paying for bloggers, vloggers, and technology. Essentially, it’s what helps pay for the creation of engaging content. And that’s just one of the argument for why online ads aren’t wholly without value.

One school of thought is that advertisers will have to embrace the inevitable and adapt in a world where ad blockers are the norm if they are to survive and continue to reach their audiences and turn a profit. Unfortunately, in this process there will be bloodshed and the end of many a valiant, valuable independent media outlet.

That said, it will also force the entire industry to raise the innovative bar, develop their own ad formats that won’t be blocked, think more creatively about how to weave ads into content, and most of all, learn how to target the right audience with the right message.

Craft a message and put it in front of the person that needs it

Up until recently, the focus has been on where the ads appear, and not too much on who the ad is appearing in front of. This has resulted in online ads taking on all the appearance of a Sting song.

Every move you make, every step you take, they’re watching (and following) you.

It’s overwhelming, distracting, and irrelevant. Especially irrelevant. Of course, it’s a lot less annoying when consumers are dealt the right message to the right person, rather than a generic message to the masses. Clearly, the time has come for advertisers to stop using the old ‘spray and pray’ approach to online ads and instead craft specific messages that are aimed at the right people.

The rise of programmatic advertising

It’s not about buying ad space and plugging it with ads, but rather about turning big data into marketable audiences and buying those audiences for your carefully created messages. And a programmatic advertising tool is one such way of doing just that.

A programmatic advertising tool will help companies leverage precise, up-to-date demographic and behavioural data about individuals and put a strong message on the right platform, at the right time, and in front of the person that really needs it.

Through our automated software, companies like Dot Network can build databases of Internet users based on their specific demographics, interests, location and behaviour, so that brands can precisely target their ideal audiences, get more ROI, and create less media wastage.

The first step is understanding who the brand is for, and importantly, who it is not for. And once you know this, it’s about ensuring that your message reaches the right audience. So, if your message needs to reach stay-at-home moms, business directors, fashionistas, people who live within a certain distance from your business, or home owners, then innovative tools like programmatic advertising can give people messages that are relevant and of interest to them.

By – Stephanie Walters
Published under – Ramify