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Stop Worrying About Ad Blockers — Build A Better Mousetrap

Online advertising leaves a lot of room for improvement, so it’s no wonder people want to block it. But while a great debate rages around the ethics of ad blockers, you should stop worrying so much about it and instead focus on building a better mousetrap.

The problem with conventional advertising is one of quality: In an effort to make more of a splash so they can capture the attention of end users and generate clicks, advertisers have changed the look and feel of their ads, making copy bigger and colors brighter. This shortsighted tactic just annoys the end user to the point that he will do any number of things to remove these eyesores from his browser.

If you want to use advertising technology to reach a target user, then look to your audience. Are you attracting the user by meeting his needs without wasting his time? By building a better mousetrap, you can do that and make everyone happy.

Consider All Parties

When it comes to ads tech and ad blockers, it’s important to consider each party involved: the publisher, the advertiser, and the end user. Publishers want to make a living doing what they love, and advertisers want to sell a product, but end users find most advertising ugly and disruptive.

Each party’s position is appropriate, but users react to their wants with ad blockers, which cut the transaction off entirely. The result is a clean browsing experience for end users, but advertisers sell nothing and publishers can’t profit from the content they worked so hard to produce.

What Needs to Change?

If you want to improve end users’ experiences so that they no longer desire to install ad blockers, then consider them first and foremost by respecting their time, intent, and space.

Advertisers need to start over and consider the user experience from square one — like app and website developers do every day. They should strike a middle ground that respects user privacy and works with publishers to match the styles and tones of the communities they serve.

The success of paid native posts, found on many independent blogs, proves this works. These are high-quality and publisher-approved because they make sense to the community, and they appear in a natural format. The rest of the advertising industry should take notice. It’s worth generating a lower click-through rate if the overall impressions are higher. The important thing is to increase volume served.

What Does a Better Mousetrap Look Like?

Offering e-commerce ads that are relevant to the page content and do not disrupt the user experience are excellent first steps toward building a better ad experience.

For example, advertisers currently ignore the fact that when an end user reads a blog about something that interests him and he is suddenly sent to the landing page of a car manufacturer’s website, that ad dramatically disrupts the user’s experience. Why in the world would the user want to leave in the middle of an article?

Creating a non-disruptive experience — one that doesn’t navigate the user away from the page — is paramount. We need to move to newer, better advertising technology that allows users to complete an entire transaction without leaving the pages they are on.

Consider an ad like we serve at benjamin that displays a quick yes-or-no interface. If the user isn’t interested in the item shown, he can select no and something else will appear instead. Therefore, the user gets to browse inventory without leaving the page. If a user selects yes, then he can complete the entire transaction within the ad space — again, without ever being navigated away from the page. While this is still a young ad format, we’re seeing promising results so far.

By creating technology that doesn’t annoy or disrupt, but rather makes completing a transaction simple and even enjoyable, we can stay relevant in today’s advertising market. Build a better mousetrap to capture the attention of end users — not annoy them — and ad blockers will no longer be a primary concern.

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Andrew J. Chapin is the founder of benjamin, an e-commerce flash deals app that forces you to make a purchase decision in 60 seconds or less. In a space that’s thick with competition from contenders including Groupon and LivingSocial, benjamin has grown to 30,000 active daily users in just five months. Andrew’s business development experience comes from companies large and small, including Microsoft, Color Labs, and Feathr.

1 Comment

  1. There is no denial that advertising technology is advancing day by day. We need to come up with better ways to curb adblocking issue. The example given by you is great and makes sense.

    I just want to thank you for writing up a wonderful post.:)

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