Should Mobile Be Worried About Ad Blocking?

Author Matt Haig once said, “As the consumer’s device of choice, mobile is always on hand. It’s the brand’s first point of contact with the consumer, but that doesn’t mean forcing them to walk around with an entire website in their pocket. Rather, the mobile experience needs to address the context of a mobile user.”

In a recent roundtable, PluggedIn BD brought together experts in the industry (Thirstie, Mobile Evolution Marketing, YieldMo, 3Q Digital, Mobext, Sonata, & Appboy)

The conversation eventually came around to a hot topic of late: mobile ad blocking. With Apple’s (AAPL) new move to enable ad blocking on iPhones, advertisers and publishers have been bracing for a crisis. Not only have we not yet witnessed an “armageddon,” but many are scoffing at the idea of worrying about ad blocking at all. According to our experts, we should simply forget thinking about discuss mobile advertising and how brands can best engage with consumers on their “device of choice.”

The fact is, people block ads because of shitty ads (mostly video). They interfere with the mobile experience. There’s absolutely no question about that. Generally speaking, people just don’t want to see ads at all. Sure, they put up with it (when they have to), but only because it’s part of the experience. What we’re doing is inherently trying to get people to engage with something they don’t want in a place they don’t want it.

So what should we focus on instead? 

  • Content: Instead of think about advertising, think about adding value. And when it comes to valuable content, relevancy is key. Provide relevant information in the moment when consumers are making a decision.
  • Context: This can mean any number of things, from the location to the individual. Context makes all the difference in terms of delivering content. I don’t want to see the same thing when I’m lounging on my couch as when I’m on the move. And context leads to motivation. Now, more than ever, consumers are demanding more accuracy. They’re telling us, “If you make it relevant to me and put it in an environment that’s important to me or that makes sense, I’m more willing to see it, engage with it, and act on it.” Effective mobile engagement does a good job of looping into how consumers are feeling.
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