Adblocking software usage nearly doubled during 2015 and 21% of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphones now have adblocking software installed. In APAC, this figure is much higher as these consumers are far less tolerant of ads on their personal devices. With mobile ad spend set to increase by 54% in APAC during 2016 we can only assume that consumers will become even more savvy getting around the extension of traditional advertising on mobile devices.
This is especially true in media dark regions and places where mobile data is a valuable commodity, and certainly not reserved for viewing ads. It is therefore more important than ever that we provide real value for the consumer which will not only help us to achieve the holy grail of personal data, used to drive further personalisation, but also ensure that brand loyalty is gained and built on into the future.
The Challenge Faced by Marketers
Mobile marketers have seen mobile ad-serving as an extension of traditional advertising, and online video advertising as a direct extension of TV advertising – this is a mistake. Due to the intimacy of the mobile phone, users (your potential consumers) are not passive and apathetic, they are proactive and demand to control the content they consume.
Marketers often make the mistake in thinking that their target consumers are interested in hearing about the products we are selling. They assume that they are as excited as we are to view advertisements during TV, a movie or a video clip when in reality, these messages are often muted or ignored altogether. Why should mobile be any different? In truth, ads on mobile are even more intrusive and much more likely to cause irritation than those we see in the outside world.
Marketers now assume that mobile users are willing to put up with ads on their favourite apps and pages as a trade-off for the content they consume. Unfortunately, in more instances than not, this is not the case.
Mobile marketing must become subtler and so now we see that brands are producing video and images that consumers are interested in watching as a standalone. This is the value exchange that is all-important when we want to put our products in front of someone on the most intimate device that they own.
The crucial question is ‘how to deliver content’ (video and otherwise) that is guaranteed to be what the consumer is ‘actually’ interested in and ‘actually wants to see’? The answer: Communicate with consumers ‘after’ you’ve confirmed the purchase of a product, and, after the very same consumer has opted-in for future direct communication. Making people see ads they do not remember searching for or clicking ‘like’ on before consuming online content they desire is the equivalent of SPAM.
The use of Ad Blocking software will rise as the penetration of smartphones & tablets increases worldwide just has it has in APAC so we as marketers must be prepared for a change in our approach. Brands must find a way to link data to purchase and confirm interest in future communications via personalised content.
Adblocking is not going away and for us to survive we must adapt to a new age of marketing. In APAC, where the middle class is growing at a higher rate than anywhere in the world, we have an opportunity to change the traditional ways of the west and herald a new consumer-focused approach, one which provides a real value exchange that both sides can be satisfied with.
The goal is quality over quantity, and mobile has an opportunity to be at the forefront of how marketers will succeed in the coming years. With consumers willingly viewing and engaging with your brand, you can provide the all-important value that advertisers today are struggling to provide.
Alyn Watkins, is Brandtone’s Campaign Operations Manager for SEA & China.
eMarketer Global Ad Blocking Update, March 216
Global Internet Trends 2016 (Mary Meeker, KPCB)
PageFair and Priori Data, “Ad Blocking Goes Mobile” May 2016