Produced by Jason Zagami

Most people have no idea the positive impact Ad-Blocking software has had on their life. It's forced better journalism, less intrusive ad experiences, and more relevant ads are all a direct result of Ad Blockers. 

Learn how and why in today's episode. 

Ad Blockers

Show Transcript:

What’s your favorite thing about digital ads? 
The super fun way they pop up and complete obscure whatever you’re trying to view?
How they sometimes get in the way of a button or link you’re trying to click. I resort to some weird game of web browser acrobatics trying to outmaneuver it, but I reluctantly fail. 
Oooh, how about when most of them are completely irrelevant to you. 
Spend that money GEICO. Maybe if I see your add, 739 more times I’ll definitely probably think about it. 
Despite being annoyed by intrusive online ads, I’ve never used an ad-blocker. And to be honest I probably should have. 
Ad Blockers are making the world a better place and let me tell you why. 

I’m Jay Zagami and these are Digital Marketing Stories on the CPM Podcast

I’m a believer that economics solve most of the worlds business problems. People vote with their dollars or in this case people with their attention, which is the currency of the internet. 
Over the past few years the adoption rate of Ad-Blockers has skyrocketed. Over 40% of surveyed internet users admit to using one on their Desktop computer, and around 22% on mobile devices. 
That equate to hundreds of millions of devices. 
I’ll include sources in the show notes. 

So why is this a good thing? 
Digital Advertising is the laziest form of marketing. While sometimes mental horsepower goes into creating great ads, most of the time advertisers interrupt our day with the most egregious flashing, buzzing, obscuring pop-up ads. 
The lack of regulation allowed it to get so bad, that hundreds of millions of people installed Ad-Blocking software and plugins. 
In fact, ad-blockers caused many ad-supported digital publications to miss their 2017 revenue projection. 
And let me tell ya, there’s no quicker way to enact change in a broken system, than to Donkey-Punch it right in the wallet. 
Websites relying on ad revenue were left no choice but to stop being lazy advertisers and develop a better ad-supported user experience. 
And so we saw a rise in entertaining or informative Sponsored Content. Ad blockers can’t block native content like product placements, or sponsored articles. 

Some cheaters found a way to game the system by engineering Click-Bait. It ultimately backfired eroding their trust, authority and audience. 
Clickbait does one thing, it get clicks. Once people realized they were tricked or deceived, the game is up. They’re not making a purchase or converting in any meaningful way. They may never even come back to your website.  So good work, Genius.
This is what gave way to the rise of Ad-Filters and Paywall Supported Content. 
I’m going to dive into both topics, but I want to start with latter. The rise of Clickbait and fake news has given Trusted News a feeling of scarcity.
While many name brand publications were losing money, the New York Times stock price rose 41% last year, with Subscription revenue crossing a billion dollars, and accounting for 60% of all revenue.
That makes me hopeful and reaffirms my faith in economics. 

I want to talk about Ad-Filters, but first I need to back up and give you some history. 
In 2016 Digital Advertisers committed to finding a way to combat Ad-Blocking software. 
An engineering arms race wasn’t going to be effective. 
So, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, the Washington Post and some large brands joined forces to create and fund the Coalition for Better Ads. It became a regulator for digital advertising. 
The group created global standards for online advertising. Defining what was acceptable. They scored digital ads based on criteria such as page load time, the number of tracking scripts used and the ad creative.
In 2017 they released the new scoring system. For you data nerds I’ll include a link to their research. 
These standards gave advertisers guidelines on what they could and couldn’t do with ads. 
If you didn’t comply, your ads would get filtered out. 
This year Google’s Chrome Browser comes standard with this ad-filter turned on as the default setting. No more flashing, buzzing, moving pop up ads. 
If a site has ads that don’t follow the standards they’re notified via Google’s search console. Once the ads are brought up to the standards, they can resubmit them for a review. 
Google announced that as of February 12th, 42% of sites who were failing the Better Ads Standards, have resolved their issue and are now passing. That’s a staggering figure. 42% in the first twelve months. 

Examples of Sponsored Content

Ok Go Music Video for Honda

 Will Ferrell for Old Milwaukee

Car Throttle for Nissan

If you’re looking to promote a product, service or brand, you will get a far better return on investment with well executed sponsored content. 
Most people are inherently lazy. They won’t take the time to find the right influencers or media partner. They just want to throw dollars at ads. 
That’s what makes it such a great deal right now. It won’t always be this way. 
I could spend a million dollars on a single ad campaign, or I could spend 10% of that and get dozens of micro-influencers to create content around a product that millions of people will see. 
And it will be in the style of that influencer, which we already know their audience likes. It’s self optimizing.  

If you’d like to see some examples of great sponsored content visit Seedling.Marketing and go to the podcast section. That’s where you’ll find this episode. 
I want to thank you for letting me be a part of your day. 
I also want to know what you think?
Or if there’s a topic you’d like to see me cover. Message me on twitter - @JasonZagami
And have a great weekend 

Links to sources and research used on this episode.