May 26, 2015

Ad Blockers

You've been reading about ad blockers, right (click here)? Here's a popular version for Chrome ... with downloads allegedly exceeding 200,000,000 (click here).

In my projects, there are three types of traffic.

  1. Earned Traffic (i.e. customer visits your site because the customer loves your brand).
  2. Pushed Traffic (i.e. catalogs, email campaigns).
  3. Toll-Based Traffic (i.e. retargeting, Facebook, Google, YouTube, all the stuff you love to focus on).
It takes a tremendous amount of talent, effort, and merchandising/marketing brilliance to achieve earned traffic. The outcome is a phenomenal amount of high-quality profit.

It takes a tremendous amount of talent, effort, and merchandising/marketing brilliance to generate sales via Pushed Traffic. The outcome is a large amount of sales and a fair amount of low-quality profit (in the case of cataloging), or a smaller amount of sales paired with high-quality profit (in the case of email marketing). Either way, something gives.

It does not take a tremendous amount of talent, effort, and merchandising/marketing brilliance to generate Toll-Based traffic. It takes money and some amount of technical chops. The outcome is frequently a fair amount of sales paired with low-quality profit.

Almost everything you read demands a focus on Toll-Based Traffic generation. Many call this "omnichannel". Vendors, trade journalists, and consultants love omnichannel Toll-Based Traffic, because they get paid when you listen to them.

Now, imagine a world where 65% of your customers are using ad-blocking software. Can we agree that, in a world where the majority of customers are using ad-blocking software, it becomes much, much harder to grow your business via Toll-Based Traffic?

In that world, the omnichannel theorists correctly assess that your customer is using many channels ... but your efforts to have a relationship with the customer outside of your site are increasingly thwarted. What do you do? Be honest with yourself.

Success in five years comes from efforts to build Earned Traffic today. It's probably time to get busy, don't you think?