What does ad blocking mean for startups ?

Enough has been said about what will ad blocking do to publishers' bottom line, so this article is not about the publishers. It is about the impact on developers running their own startup/company or hustlers....the startups CMO working on promoting their startup.

Struggling startups worldwide are trying to increase user onboarding activities and hopefully will generate enough revenue to make it or die. As ad blockers becoming widespread on the Internet, ad blocking will impact startups in much more severe way. Kinda like blocking the sun light(eye balls) from reaching the sprout(your startup).

ad blocker blocks sunlight(eye balls) from reaching the sprout(startup)

1. Using online ads for exposure.

For startup to thrive, the process of gaining new customers involve promoting its services or products either directly(via advertisement) or indirectly(via word of mouth, viral growth, etc). Most startups will opt for the direct method - online advertisement - as a low cost way to measure and test if there is a market/product fit. If more people start using ad blockers, then it could mean that the startup will be paying for ads that simply don't show up.

2. Eat the burger instead of holding it.

Marketers for startups have to ask themselves if the new customers prefer to see a beautiful or handsome smiling model holding a cheese burger or seen eating the cheese burger. The truth is not many people will click on banner ads unlike in the late 90's and 2000s. Hence, holding the cheese burger will not be so effective anymore. Startups' services or products must find some ways into the value chain via content marketing, in-article(read - eating the cheese burger) or review by bloggers. Challenging? Yes. Effective? Depends. If it works, it can open up lots of new business to your startup.

3. Re-evaluate your relationship with ads and ad block software.

Will use this conversation as example to "illuminate" a startup relationship with ads.

You : " The source codes and solutions you found on the websites saved you from countless of programming and debugging hours."

Friend : "I don't give a shit. Those blogs and websites that depend on ads should die. I'm not going to turn off my ad block"

You : "Is your right to block ads and if you think you are entitled to the content and give nothing in return.

Funny, your own startup use Google Adwords to bring in new customers and generate revenue right? Revenue that pay your employees salary right?"

Friend : "Yeah...so what!?....huh...ohh.. no... shit!"

Ad : "You ignore them until the day you need them."

To wrap up

The days of relying on online advertisement to gain new customers will eventually come to a point where it simply no longer work when more and more people use ad blockers. Startups with limited budget will have to find new ways to gain customers and keep revenue flowing in.

Perhaps by collaborating closely with media outlets or content creators? Or maybe some startups are working on a solution to address this problem quietly in some garage some where. Let's hope a good solution can be found soon.

  See also : Definition and Objectives of Growth Hacking

By AdamNg

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