Ad blockers have long been a cause for concern among marketers. But in recent years, the issue has been heightened, with almost a third of internet users expected to use ad-blocking software in 2017.

As pointed out by MarTech Today, that represents a 24 percent year-on-year increase that could lead to digital publishers losing over $27 billion worldwide in three years if the issue is not effectively addressed.  

With the constant battle for attention online, consumers are making a conscious effort to tune out most content that does not interest them.

This isn’t a trend that appears to go away anytime soon, with 615 million devices now using ad blockers. So instead of trying to find a workaround for the ad-blocking technology, marketers must instead try to understand what consumers’ use of ad blockers are trying to tell them.

The rise of ad blockers is the consumers’ way of telling marketers what kind of content they would like to eliminate from their online experience. In trying to find a solution, it should be seen as valuable feed that could help marketers better tailor the content they produce, as well as where and how they could get their advertising message across.  

What are consumers’ use of ad blockers telling marketers?

Ramp up the creativity

Now more than ever, the amount of creativity infused in content marketing is of the utmost importance.

With people having the power to opt-in only to the content that they like, there is a rising challenge to create engaging and  useful content (like tutorial videos and blogs, reviews, etc.) that people would choose to see.

And exercising of creativity isn’t limited to the content produced. It is also important to be creative in trying to improve the consumers’ ad experience by adding value to their relationship with brands, and reaching the right person at the right time.

As pointed out by Marketing Week, dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is one tool brands can use, as it helps them send out the personalized message based on indicators like location, weather, and the consumers’ discovery and decision-making cycles.   

Explore other territories

It’s clear that traditional means of digital advertising no longer work, and some brands and platforms are more ahead of the curve than others in finding other ways to deal with this reality.

Amazon Kindle and Spotify, for example, puts a price on your attention by providing users the option to pay for an ad-free experience. Spotify also has a feature for free users, trading users that watch a video ad 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening.  

Meanwhile, emerging media news portal Campaign Asia points out that new formats like scroller ads – ads that appear as full-screen windows as consumers scroll down a web page – are innovations that make ads less intrusive and more acceptable.   

Similarly, traditional advertising giants are turning to native advertising and product placement in films/TV shows as ways of changing the way they promote their brands.

Reconfigure value exchange

As noted by Campaign Asia, historically, the relationship between advertisers and consumers was heavily tilted towards the former, with marketers asking much more from consumers than was given back. The rise of ad blockers has reversed the tradition the other way.

This is seen to lead to what could be the most important shift marketers can make in the face of the ad blocker reality – a shift to native advertising.

People are increasingly drawn to authentic content that actively engage consumers, which in turn, lead to audiences that return for more.


While being one of the several marketing hazards that can prevent your strategies and conversions, ad blocking can also be seen as a welcome wake-up call that would transform the digital advertising landscape into one that refocuses on the consumer.

The sooner marketers realize that investing in creating engaging content as opposed to designing ads that can get through blocking technology is THE solution to the issue, the better equipped they will be at reconnecting with consumers.

There are many lessons to be learned with the rise of ad blockers – from understanding the kinds of content consumers engage with and which ones they find useless, to searching for ways and portals that would make ads less intrusive and acceptable – it’s important to realize that every challenge also serves as valuable feedback.  

If you’re one of those businesses that find ad blockers to be a growing concern to your marketing efforts, re-evaluate your plan of attack, look deeper into the trend, and find out how you can better your strategies by understanding the challenge you’re facing.

About the Author: Jolina Landicho is a freelance writer and marketing specialist working with various brands online. She is devoted in helping businesses bridge relationship gaps and creating new branches in the online marketing sphere.