• Peter Cunningham

    This article shows that some of the oldest weapons in a marketers armory, like direct mail, are still sharp enough to cut through any ad-blocker.

    But while ad-blocking is getting all the headlines don’t forget the other challenges like ever declining email open rates, the rise of ‘dark social’, paywalls on social networks reducing organic social to near zero, the trend towards delayed TV watching, Google’s continued assaults on the whole concept of SEO, banner blindness, ever rising paid search and affiliate which all, individually and combined, make it harder than ever to get marketing messages in front of a target audience.

    For those who just can’t see beyond ‘interruption advertising’, the knee-jerk response is simply to shift ad spending to other media more impervious to ad blocking like pre-rolls on You-Tube and Facebook video and mobile newsfeed ads, paid product placement in TV and cinema, and advertorials that increasingly blur the distinction between editorial and ads.

    But we would argue, quoting Steve Ruble of Edelman who said ‘the first solution to ad blocking is to double down on earned media’, that one of the best solutions is ‘positive word of mouth’ where your best customers tell their friends and colleagues just how great your product or service is.

    Because when your customer sends a communication to their friend or colleague, it is significantly more likely to be opened and read than any communication sent by your brand. And given that Forrester Research found over 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, but only 10% trust advertising, this gives you an idea of just how powerful this combination is.

    So in other words, good old fashioned marketing is the best solution to ad-blocking and all these other problems.

    If you are still addicted to interruption advertising, you can try the other solutions I mentioned above – but an altogether better solution lies in referral marketing.