Rising to the Challenge of Ad Blockers, with Relevance

Veteran tech pundit Walt Mossberg recently weighed in on the subject of ad blockers, recognizing the damage widespread ad blocking would do to web publishers, and noting that “the answer is for the ad industry to reform itself, so people don’t turn to ad blockers. Ads need to be less intrusive, less burdensome, and smarter.”

Taking it a step further Walt says, “I would gladly opt into seeing ads I found useful and relevant.”

This is the call smart advertisers need to respond to. We need to be more sophisticated about our targeting. We need to be relevant so that the ads we serve for our clients aren’t intrusive to potential customers, or wasted on someone who isn’t part of our target audience to begin with.

Digital advertisers need to recognize that it’s not enough any more to set broad contextual parameters in display advertising, especially with so many filtering options at our disposal. Yes, it requires more work to layer segments and negative segments. But in the end, you’re delivering a better ad experience online, and better ROI for your client.

Google alone offers myriad ways to dial up the right audience using a combination of customer purchase intent, keyword selection, predictive conversion modeling and other criteria. Marketers can’t be lazy and go broad with their plans. They have to take the time to understand the target and deliver the right ads in the right channel to the right audience at the right time on the right device. As daunting as that sounds, Google, and Facebook (perhaps more so), have the data to do just that – most of the time.

Let’s review the level of targeting at our disposal within Google.

1. Remarketing for search or for display – target has shown interest already, and will probably not mind seeing your ad later on
2. Audience targeting – people most likely to be interested in what you’re selling
3. Contextual targeting – show ads on sites related to your keywords
4. Placement targeting – pick the sites you want your ads to show on
5. Interest categories – target users who share a common interest
6. Topic targeting – similar to placement and interest mashed together
7. Geographic targeting – show it where your target lives or works
8. Time – pick the exact times you want your ads shown
9. Language – make sure you are speaking their language
10. Demographic – age/gender/parental status
11. Custom match – using 1st party data aka your customers’ email addresses

Beyond those parameters, you can utilize additional targeting strategies to get even more granular with your targeting:

1. Keyword layering
2. Exclusions
3. Negative matching against predefined user lists from GA
4. Frequency capping
5. Ad scheduling

Ultimately, you should be able to find your audience. Yes it’s a lot of work, but when done correctly, you put relevant and non-intrusive ads in front of consumers and make ads helpful instead of annoying. The network (Google and Facebook) algorithms will help you find the folks that have purchase intent, because it is in their interest to do so. It’s on the marketer’s shoulders to create and tailor the ads, the messaging and to define the target and goals. If everyone marketed this way, perhaps people wouldn’t want to block ads as much as they do today.

Does your agency deliver the kind of granular targeting that today’s platforms make possible? If you’d like to see how relevant Kiosk can make your marketing spend, please give us a call.