Welcome to the penultimate edition of 4 Considerations for Digital Marketers in 2016. The most recent entry dealt with the importance of creating content that’s not only valuable, but useful or entertaining. If you’re not caught up, don’t be afraid to check out Part 1 and Part 2.
So how will you connect and grow an audience in 2016? There’s so much innovation going on, that putting together a digital strategy can feel a lot like organizing a wedding – in other words, overwhelming. But before you find yourself amidst the chaos of Times Square waiting for that big ball to drop, take some time to become aware of what trends, insights and recent developments are bound to impact next year’s marketing mix.
3. Ad-Blocker and Intrusive Advertising
This is a widely discussed topic that everyone from college students to industry experts have weighed in on – whether or not Ad-Blocker (and other content filters) are good, bad or great for digital marketing. Personally, I’m a huge advocate for this kind of technology, but perhaps you think otherwise and that’s OK – it’s from this chatter and debate which an ultimate solution will be born.
However, to be brutally honest, marketers who are opposed to the proliferation of Ad-Blocker, uBlock and other content filters should probably consider an attitude adjustment. These browser extensions are wonderful examples of good, strong innovation, and I find it so weird when people cower in response to what is perceived to be “disruptive.” Having the capacity to adapt is the touchstone of any business venture, and naysayers will almost certainly perish in the long-run.
Blemishes on the UX
For instance, nowadays, if you’ve got Ad-Blocker installed, it’s nearly impossible to stream a live sports match online. Granted, these platforms operate in a rather grey area of the law and are technically classified as illegal, but come on – instead of identifying other possible sources of revenue or creating an entirely new value stream, these site operators have elected to restrict access to all streaming services unless, of course, Ad-Blocker is disabled. This panic-stricken behavior is ridiculously common; especially in the digital era – it’s no different than taxi drivers protesting Uber (who have experienced nothing but turmoil, mind you). The first rule of commerce is to evolve with the business climate. Denying or refusing to accept the future is the least productive strategy, because innovation will always triumph.
Ad-Blocker is designed to eliminate the spammiest of digital adverts – those desperate, intrusive, least-effective and antiquated banner ads that can totally spoil the user experience. So we should stop bashing the creators of such technology and buy them a pint of cold lager – they’ve done the world a good deed. And save for most industry execs, I’m not alone in my views. One commenter on the Financial Times shared his opinion on the matter, representing what I believe to be the general consensus among Internet-browsing consumers. Referring to pop-up ads on the New York Times website, FT user avidreader says: “They’re a serious deterrent to reading the paper online, which is to say a serious deterrent to reading the Times at all.”
Ad-blockers are just like those “no-flyers” signs many people print out and display on their mailbox – a simple yet effective measure that prevents exposure to unwanted promotional material. If people of the real world can do it, why can’t Internet users?
Thanks to ad-blockers and content filters, the Internet is a significantly cleaner place. But like most innovation, it’s not without disruption; marketers are now forced to be more creative than ever.
Out with the old, in with the new – everybody wins.
This concludes Part 3 of 4 Considerations for Digital Marketers in 2016. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for Part 4, the final entry, where we champion niche platforms by demonstrating how alternative social media can amplify a brand’s overall reach.