Data insight ‘the only cure to ad-blocking epidemic’

ad block smallBrands are being urged to embrace classic consumer insight techniques to combat the onslaught of cheap, untargeted and invasive programmatic advertising and stem the rise in consumers downloading ad-blocking software.
According to the latest prediction by eMarketer, some 27% of Internet users, equivalent to 14.7 million people, will use ad-blockers by next year.
Of those, 90.2% will do so on desktops or laptops, while 28% will have installed them on smartphones, with many users doing both at the same time, causing an overlap in the figures.
In 2015, the figures were 13% of desktop and laptop users and 2.6% of smartphone users.
eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher said: “There’s no doubting that ad-blocking is now a very real issue for advertisers. The good news is that numbers like this have forced those within the industry to think long and hard about what it is that they need to do better in order that this practice doesn’t become an epidemic.”
But Gigya director of sales EMEA Richard Lack reckons the countermeasures being available for publishers to overcome the technology will not solve the issue.
He believes that over the past five years the market has been overwhelmed with cheap, untargeted and invasive programmatic advertising. Ad blockers are a natural grass roots response to this issue because users are not being able to enjoy the content they are looking for, Lack said.
He added: “2016 will be the year we see a huge consolidation in the programmatic ad space, especially those platform vendors or ad networks which rely on generally inaccurate third-party data. Content publishers must tackle this problem, thinking about ad relevancy and user experience on their mobile and web properties.
“If a publisher understands its customers’ preferences based on first-party identity data, and applies these insights to target its advertising inventory, then these campaigns will yield higher CPMs, removing the need to acquiesce to invasive ad formats. Users will be delivered a much more enjoyable experience and may not feel an urgent need to install ad blockers in the first place.”

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