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Inbound Marketing

Ad Blockers: Digital Marketer’s Friend or Foe?

As a reader of articles on the internet, chances are you’ve installed ad blockers on your computer to keep those pesky ads from interrupting your reading.

As a marketer, you know you “shouldn’t” do this. After all, AdBlock and its brethren are your nemesis, aren’t they? They block you from acquiring a full data picture on prospect and customer behavior. You almost feel guilty for installing one. All marketers should stand in solidarity with each other, right? Feeling a tad traitorous, are you?

Ad Blockers to the Rescue

Rest easy. Ads are annoying. We dare say they do have a negative impact on a reader’s experience on a website. After all, who among us hasn’t sworn worse than the proverbial sailor as we tried to move through the “click-bait” style gallery of a story on our smartphones. (We want to see how Val Kilmer and 19 other celebrities have gone from hunk to chunk, gosh darn it!) But the ads on our screen keep sizing up and down, and Val’s “after” picture takes forever to download so – arrgh – we just clicked on an ad, not the “next” button!

Just a major UGH ten times over to banner ads too.

(Deep, cleansing breaths….)


Digital Marketers vs. AdBlock

Ad blockers are a win for us-as-readers, but as for us-as-marketers? It’s been something of an ad-mageddon. Back in 2017, reports showed that ad blocking software resulted in $22 billion in lost revenue worldwide.

This peeved marketers, and even publishers, big time. So much so, that some publications have started blocking visitors with ad blockers, and publishers are using their own server as an ad server (which makes the Adblock extension think the page is actually an ad). They’re even using Google’s cached version of the page to get around the Adblock!

Working Smarter

Despite what you may think, there are upsides to advertisement blockers. Really. There ARE:

  • Digital marketers have the opportunity to make ads better tailored to a specific target. This is especially the case for specific customers whose ad blockers don’t block all ads, just those that aren’t relevant to them. A blocked ad is a chance for marketers to study where they went wrong with their customers. It provides advertisers with the information to create better, more attractive ads for their prospects.
  • Speaking of better ads, fighting back against ad blocking software could see advertisers creating non-intrusive messages that mean more to consumers. Such ads may, perhaps, even become more appealing to users, possibly even doing away with the need for ad blockers. (A marketer can dream, after all.)
  • Reduce ad-spend budget waste. Creating ads that actually appeal to your prospects while conducting better research on which websites they frequent means you won’t waste ads on sites that appeal to people far from your target audience.

Moving Forward in an Ad Blocking World

As for the near future, and how digital marketers and publishers can work around ad blockers to influence customer behavior, how about these ideas:

  • Create and sell products on their own sites.
  • Productize original video content (see the link above for an explanation).
  • Use affiliate marketing by showcasing a product link on a website page, with the link going to the product. If the visitor purchases the product, the publisher gets a commission.


It’s a brave new ad-blocking world out there and you shouldn’t go outside in it alone. Contact Jeff Hays, our director of client services, to schedule a chat to learn how Ingenex Digital Marketing can help you create terrific tailored ads and create an ad campaign that effective while keeping your ad spend reasonable.

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