Your Digital Ad Investments Should Love Ad Blockers

Posted by Wes Mills on August 11, 2015

I’ll get this out of the way to preface: I use an ad blocker. For awhile, I felt like a hypocrite and was doing my fellow marketers a disservice by supporting the very companies that worked to kill our industry. Then one day it hit me: I think they’re actually helping us.


Nigerian scams and broken english

I’d like to reference one of my favorite books Think Like a Freak. In one chapter, they discuss Nigerian scammers and how ridiculous their scams are. The poorly worded emails, the shady requests, etc. We’ve seen them all. And every time you read one of these ridiculous scam emails, you think to yourself “who the hell would fall for this?”

You have to have the right bait for the fish you’re after. A Nigerian scammer is far more clever than you think. They know it would take a moron–relatively speaking–to fall for a shady email written in broken english, promising riches from a prince located in a country you may not even be able to point out on a map. The Nigerian scammer knows that if someone contacts him from an email that used broken english and had ridiculous promises, his chances to complete the goal of the scam are far higher. The broken english and overall absurdity weeds out the people who would identify the scam. By severely limiting the leads coming in from the email, now the scammer can be far more efficient; he can only deal with people who couldn’t recognize it was a scam from the beginning.


The three most important letters in marketing: R-O-I

What do Nigerian scams have to do with digital advertising? It’s all marketing; we’re all looking for that “perfect hook.” In the digital world, there are many different ways to optimize your campaigns: ad design, ad placement, spend, etc. Basically, we’re trying to make the right bait for the right fish, while also limiting which other fish see the bait. Limiting the bait may seem counter-intuitive, but showing that bait costs an advertiser money.

Here we go back to the three most important letters in any marketing campaign: R.O.I. The more “fish” you get to take your “bait,” the higher return on your investment. As an advertiser, we want to maximize clicks while limiting the amount of impressions. While Google and Facebook give us plenty of tools to do this, there will always be users who are annoyed by ads. Those users complain about them and were never going to click a digital ad in the first place. Unfortunately, despite access to vasts amounts of data, there’s no feasible way to chose not to show ads to those who are annoyed by digital ads. Unless, of course, they do it for you with an ad blocker!

You see, ad blockers are the digital advertiser’s broken english scam letter. They limit the amount of fish that see your bait, saving you advertising dollars and allowing for maximum ROI.


Not everyone wins

While the advertisers do win, not everyone impacted by an ad blocker is a winner. Who are the losers? The website owners who get paid for ad views miss out on potential revenue when ads are blocked.


Get the most out of your digital investments

While ad blockers do play a roll showing the right bait to your fish, there is more to maximizing your ROI on the digital frontier. If you’re struggling with your digital marketing or questioning whether digital marketing is the right advertising medium for your business, reach out to us.


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