Apple’s inclusion of ad-blocking apps with iOS 9 is a major development for B2B firms.
The ad-blocking apps work by stripping the code that displays ads on websites and some apps strip the analytics code as well. As of now, these apps work for mobile visitors using Apple’s Safari browser.
This move by Apple would seem to be a shot to the heart of Google’s economic model because it will result in stripping mostly Doubleclick display and AdSense ads from websites, both of which Google owns. And as more and more content is being consumed on a mobile device, Apple has increasing control over the gateway to advertising.
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Ad-blocking is growing in popularity, so there is clearly a consumer demand for getting rid of online ads.
The Peace and Purify ad-blocking apps shot up to the top of the Apple Store Paid App chart and about 18% of the US population used ad-blocking prior to the release of iOS 9, according to Adobe-PageFair data. A YouGov study found that 41% of American Internet users employed an ad-blocker on their desktop computers.
This aversion to advertising helps explain the rise of the practice of content marketing. People want the content they need when they need it. They have little tolerance for messages that are not relevant to them or tactics that interrupt their experience.
What B2B Companies Should Do About Ad-Blocking
B2B companies should take a good look at the technology their customers and prospective customers are using, starting with their own website analytics. What percentage of their website visitors are coming from a mobile device using Apple’s Safari browser? That’s the audience that will be effected.
If your company hosts ads on its website, you’ll want to track the revenue you earn from those visitors and do a before and after comparison to get a sense of the percentage of those visitors who are blocking ads.
If you drive traffic to your site from mobile display advertising, you’ll want to track those visitors and segment by browser to see if Safari visits decline. You’ll also want to check in with your media buyer to see how the ad networks are addressing the issue.
As of now, the percentage of your visitors who use an ad-blocking app may be too small to be worth the worry but it is something you’ll want to keep an eye on.
Unfortunately, banner advertising will likely not improve in quality or performance enough to reduce the demand for ad-blocking tools, so it might be time to rethink your strategy if you rely heavily on display advertising.
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