Well, the holiday season is over for sure. And now the malls are packed with the be-gifted and disappointed, who are looking to exchange what they got with what they actually wanted.
Buying those gifts took a lot of time, money, and some serious thought just to be returned and eventually forgotten. If given the choice, wouldn’t you like to know who on your list wants to receive what, and when it would be optimal for them to receive it?
The world of Internet advertising is no different. All advertisers want to know is who will most likely respond to their ads, and who won’t. Over the past few months, there’s been a groundswell of unnecessary nervousness among the online advertising community regarding banner blocking, or filtering. These technological advances are not cause for concern. Rather, they are a giant step forward in an advertiser’s ability to properly target a message.
What Is Banner Blocking? Those cruising around the Internet now have a choice to either view, or turn off, ads placed on the sites they visit. To turn off the ads, individuals must purchase products like IMSI’s NetAccelerator, which creates a barrier against the download of ad text, graphics, pop-up windows, and banner ads on the Internet.
Companies are rolling out with these products on a daily basis. And believe it or not, it’s a good thing.
It’s A Win-Win
Why advertise to someone who doesn’t want to see it, won’t respond to it, and actually is angered by it? Banner blocking will filter out the ad from being served and viewed by an individual. But it will also protect the advertiser from spending money on poor prospects.
While the banner blocking software is sniffing out advertisements to filter, banner-serving software can sniff out the presence of the block that is about to occur. Leaving the individual with no ad to view and the advertiser with no ad impression to pay for.
Learning From History
This is not a new concept. Rather, it’s an updated spin on a program that’s existed for quite a while. In 1971, the Direct Marketing Association began the Mail Preference Service. Effectively, this service is the grandfather of what we are now calling ad blocking.
As many as 3 million individuals have chosen, through MPS, to block any unwanted national advertising via traditional mail. Any person can elect at anytime not to receive catalogs, continuity clubs, subscription offers, charitable offers, and other national mail by registering with MPS.
Ad blocking software is serving the same purpose for individuals who don’t want to view advertisements on the web sites they visit. Offline, the DMA established its suppress file to protect an individual’s privacy and assist the Direct Marketing community in its efforts to reach qualified prospects. The same could be said for filter software, and it’s role within Internet advertising.
Yeah, But Won’t Everyone Ride On That Wagon?
The Internet feeds off of advertising. Without ad revenue, many of your favorite web sites — including this one, in fact — would stop their presses. So how serious a threat is ad blocking software to the health of the site publishing model?
Not a serious one, really. Most people actually find advertisements to be helpful. Many regard them as a source of information, even if only peripherally.
And ultimately, ad blocking will allow an advertiser to prospect without invading the privacy of those who no longer wish to participate.