The Ad Blocker Future: 2 Years On | Ad Blockers In 2019 | Learn With AM Marketing

The Ad Blocker Future: 2 Years On |  Ad Blockers In 2019 | Learn With AM Marketing


I love Ad blockers. I know I shouldn’t, I work in marketing, I own a marketing agency, but I love ad blockers. And if you work in
marketing, you should too. And I’m going to tell you exactly why. Hands up who loves ads. I love ads because essentially, they put food on the table. I love ads, because they are the core of my business. I love ads because they
make my clients money. But as a consumer ads can be annoying, they can be invasive, they can just completely disrupt
my online user experience. And in the end, just piss me off. Luckily, we have the
wonderful piece of software that is the Ad blocker
to block most if not all of the ads that we see online. But three years ago, it
was not the same story. Ad blockers were gaining huge popularity, loads of people were talking
about them in the press and the whole digital marketing community was pretty scared to say the least. I was doing a lot of
research on Ad blockers time, the amount that were being downloaded, which ones were being used, and the psychology behind why someone would use an Ad blocker. And this led me to doing
a TEDx talk called, The Ad blocker Future. Now in this talk, I looked at the bigger
picture of Ad blockers, how Ad blockers actually have a negative impact on of
course, advertising revenue. We’ve got the big giants
like Facebook and Google that 90% of their revenue is from ads. And you’ve got all the
advances in VR, AR, AI, research into driverless
cars, medical advances, clean energy advances, research,
education, philanthropy, Lots of amazing things that
actually funded by ad revenue. And I presented this idea
of an Ad blocker future where everyone’s using an Ad blocker. We can’t advertise as marketers, that’s ad revenue goes out the window. None of these things get funded. I sort of went a little bit overboard, caused catastrophic thinking and said that if we don’t have ad revenue, then we cease to advance as a human race. Which was obviously catastrophic thinking, is meant to make you
think its bigger picture. But some people took it very seriously. Amy McManus is an ad for ads. She should be blocked. There are several things
about how I’m a communist. Other people getting very angry. And then my personal favorite, too many M’s in the last name. Yes folks, because if you haven’t realized already, the last four letters
of my name spell anus. Very clever, very clever. [Nick] If you
got that many trolls, does that make you super famous? Yeah, because only celebrities
get trolled, I think. Does that mean I’m a celebrity? [Nick] I guess so. Okay, it’s obviously not the case that we’re not going to
advance as a human race, if everyone’s using an Ad blocker. But two and a half years on, what’s actually happening
with ad blockers? Why do I think that actually good for the digital marketing industry? So as a marketer, we’ve
got people like Joe Jack, we’ve got people like Bang Duck. They obviously hate advertising. They obviously use Ad blockers, they obviously never admit that an ad has ever made
them purchase something or influence their decision. But if I’ve got a client
and Joe jack or Bang Duck are in my clients portfolio list of people they want to target, I need to be able to do that, Ad blocker or not. So back in 2015, there was
7.8 million Ad blocker users, which was around about
15% of all the people in the UK using the internet. Then we saw this massive
rise to 20.8% in 2017. Now, this is the time when ad blockers were really spoken about
in the marketplace, loads of people are downloading them. And it’s quite big story
in digital marketing and in media as a whole. But recently the rise
hasn’t been that much. Are still people using ad blockers? Are still people downloading them? But after that huge spike
between 2015 and 2017, in the last year, the number
of people using Ad blockers in the UK has only risen by 0.9%. See the number of people using ad blockers has actually really slowed down and there’s a number
of things why this is. What’s really important is
I don’t personally think that these figures actually
are a true reflection of the number of people
using Ad blockers in the UK. Because within this 20.9%
of people using ad blockers, you got people that downloaded
it, and didn’t use it. People who think they’ve
downloaded an ad blocker, and actually didn’t. People would think that antivirus
software is an ad blocker, and it isn’t. And also there’s a huge
percentage of people that have changed devices, we
change our phones frequently, we change our laptops frequently as new updates all the time. And it’s less likely that
someone is going to continue to download the Ad blocker software for every new device that they purchase. All use an ad blocker
on all of their devices, all in one go. So, based on the research that we’ve done on internet marketing, although we’ve got this figure of 22.9% bearing in mind all of
those factors and others, actually around about
19% is the true figure of the number of people using
Ad blockers within the UK. So how are people trying
to combat Ad blockers and why have we seen such a decrease in the number of people using them? So when I did my TEDx talk, I predicted a lot of things that we’ve started to see in recent years. I said, we probably
have to pay for YouTube. Now we have YouTube for subscriptions. I said we’d see a lot more of sponsored content influencer marketing. And there is a rise influencer marketing and sponsored content, because it’s a way of getting
around Ad blockers, right. But there happens some other ways that haven’t really worked
but publishers and websites have tried to get around
that Ad blocker problem. Number one is pay to view. Now you may have seen this with sites such as the Times or The New York Times, where you’re allowed
maybe 10 articles a month, and then you’re capped out. They say to you, if you
want to read anymore, you have to pre-pay to view the content. And this is great for someone
like the New York Times, or the Times, really established brands where people want to view the content, and they’re going to be likely
to take out a subscription, likely to pay to view that content. But it doesn’t work for
the majority of publishers. And in most cases, if
someone’s using an ad blocker or if someone’s just viewing that content, they are not going to pay, particularly if it’s a brand
that is not well known, or it’s just a random website that you haven’t been on before. Donations. So this is what I like to
call the Wikipedia method. And works on the basis that the content will remain free to you, even if you’re using an Ad blocker, if you kindly donate to help support their website and help keep the contents fresh and up to date. But we found in reality,
it is only around about 2%, of Ad blocker of users that will actually donate on the Wikipedia page. So that method doesn’t work either. Removing your access. You might have seen this particularly for those naughty Ad
blocker users out there. But when you get to a website, it notices that you’re using an Ad blocker and it asks you to remove your Ad blocker to continue viewing the content. Around about 12% of ad
blocker users will do this, but the majority will not. Then essentially there’s
a huge chunk of people that you are no longer
allowing onto your website. There’s also the crowdfunding method in which a website or
publisher will crowdfund in order to keep content free. And finally the freemium method. So a really good example
of the freemium method is Reddit Gold, whereby the general website
and content is free. But you can pay to have extras and that sort of little VIP
behind the scenes access. Freemium works really well for
things like apps and games. Because these are the
industries that were are used to seeing this method. You are used to downloading an app and if you want to remove
the ads, you gotta pay extra. Or if you want a special sword in a game or a special shield, that’s
color blue instead of red, then you’ve got to pay a
little bit extra as well. However, this method
doesn’t really work well for traditional publishers and websites, and the smaller brands purely because people don’t want to pay
or people get frustrated that they have to pay after
being told that it’s free. Also, as a creator,
website owner, publisher, how do you decide what’s
free and what’s premium? And how can you do that without alienating a lot of your customers. But there is a bit of
a more important reason why all of these methods have not worked. And it’s because they
put the responsibility on the website user. They’ve essentially gone, we’re going to come on
making those ads you hate, we’re going to carry on pushing
stuff in front of your face that upsets your user experience, And if you don’t like it, you’ve got to pay. Pay up or shut up. So essentially that’s not going to work. I personally see Ad blockers as a response to poor user experience. Ad blockers are a response
to lazy marketers, too lazy art creators and people that aren’t
doing their jobs properly. So to have the response,
we’re going to continue to put the responsibility on you to remove those ads while we carry on doing what we’re doing. It’s just not going to fly. And that’s why we’ve
probably seen a huge increase in the number of people using Ad blockers up until about 2017. So what does work? Why aren’t as many people
downloading Ad blockers. Back in 2017, and partly
in response to the number of ad blockers that were being used the Coalition for Better Ads was created Google and Facebook joined, followed by a whole range of
huge publishers and companies. And finally, we got some research. Based on the types of
ads that are produced in the digital marketing world, which ones consumers like,
and which ones they despise. And they produced this amazing list. Some marked red, some marked
green, some marked in between. You see, it’s not that people hate ads, they just hate some ads. And as long as you’re doing
your job as a good marketer keeps you on the green side. So what does work? Number one non intrusive ads. By this I mean ads that don’t
upset the user experience. When a huge proportion of ad blocker users were asked in a survey, why they downloaded that ad
blocker in the first place, the number one reason was that ads are annoying and intrusive. And the number two reason was that ads upset their browsing experience. So if you can produce a non-intrusive ad that doesn’t neither of those things, the reason for someone needing
to download an Ad blocker kind of doesn’t exist anymore. Here’s my example of a
really awful intrusive ad. Between the ages of 28 and 30, Clear Blue thought, Amy must
really really want a baby. So on on YouTube trying
to work on my clients, Clear Blue haven’t got
an Impression Cap setup. So it constantly, all day, I’m being targeted the Clear Blue. Clear Blue Pregnancy Test
(mumbles mimicking the ad) And it was a non-skippable as well. So I had to watch that bad
boy for the whole 20 seconds. That was an intrusive experience. And it’s one which means
that I will never use Clear Blue in the future because
of their lazy advertising and lack of correct targeting. So when marketers are thinking
about non-intrusive ads, we’re trying to make things more native that arts need to match the media format in which they are presented. We don’t want to upset people, we don’t want to get the
ads in people’s faces, and we don’t want to stop
you doing what you’re doing. Second one useful ads. If the ad is actually useful, if it is targeted to you on the basis of it’s something that you actually want or you are interested in. If you’re able to click on that ad and go to a website that
you genuinely want to read. That is something that
someone wants to engage in. A useful add is always targeted well, it always has great AdCopy, and it always gets put in
front of the right people that want to see it. And we’ve got number three, just as important as a useful ad, a relevant ad. It’s targeted well, it’s relevant to the
person who is viewing it. It’s well laid out and not annoying. The Coalition of Better
Ads creating this ad list, creating a no no ad list, and
giving marketers better advice on what consumers want and what they’re going to find acceptable as meant that a lot of the main reasons why people downloaded ad
blockers in the first place no longer exist. You still want the naughty ones that like to be a little bit cheeky, you still got the naughty
ones that produce the ads that play music that can you don’t know where it’s coming from (inaudible). But the majority of people are
now following these new rules and making marketing a better industry. In this sense ad blockers
have given marketing the kick up the ass it really needed because the digital
industry was getting lazy and it needed that boot to up its game. On the back of this research
the Coalition for Better Ads created the Better Ads program 2018. And that’s what any marketing
agency should be using as its basis for advertising. So that is why I love Ad blockers and why every single Digital Marketer should love ad blockers too. Ad blockers, has made the
digital industry up its game. Ad blockers have given
the digital industry the kick up the ass that it needed. Ad blockers weren’t created from thin air. They were the response to a problem that was created by lazy
marketing and digitalized (beep). So if you’re an agency that
produces annoying content, if you’re an agency whose ads
upset the user experience, if you’re an agency that does not care about targeting or relevancy, writes something generic
and puts it out to everyone. If you’re lazy marketer
that produces any of the ads in the bottom of this list, you give the rest of us a bad name. Ad blockers exists because of you. And it’s ad blockers are the reason that you go out of business, quite frankly, I’m glad about that. Because it means the
entire industry as a whole has just lifted its standards. So where are we now, are we heading for an Ad blocker future that I described in my TEDx talk? No, we’re not. We’re not heading for a world
without digital advertising. But we are heading for a world where digital advertising
is much better quality. As marketers, agency owners, people that work in the digital industry, we need to evolve. We created a problem,
resulted in ad blockers. And now we’re reacting to rectify it. Whether you’re producing
display, PPC, YouTube, or any other type of digital advertising, you no longer want to
be producing something that makes you seem like the
horrible pushy car salesman that won’t take the hit. Instead you are the helpful shop assistant that is guiding someone on
the way to their decisions and making sure the
choices are there for them along the way. We need to think more about
the psychology of the customer, making sure that their advertising fits in with what they’re doing and doesn’t upset their user experience. So that is why I love ad
blockers and that is why you should too. They essentially make
us do our jobs better and lift the standards of the
digital industry as a whole. If you’re like me, and you love a good ad
blocker usage report, the best one I found is called, The Ad Blocking Consumer Usage
Attitudes, for February 2019. It is produced by IAB UK. There’s some fantastic figures in there. For up to date information on what ads are considered useful and which ones are considered annoying, go to the Coalition
for Better Ads Website. And if you fancy checking out
how your own website fares and whether it’s declared
annoying or up to scratch, go to Google’s Ad Experience Report, which will identify ad experience that violate the Better Ad Standards and give you a pretty good idea of if you are doing a good job or not. (upbeat music)

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