This is important. As someone working in advertising naturally I try to avoid it at every turn. So are your customers. So how are they doing it and what can you do to thwart it?
Has the internet made it easier to hide from adverts?
First thing I do as I turn on the computer is check the news. Through Google Reader so I don't have to see adverts. I do this in Firefox with ABP (Adblock Plus) on so I don't see feed adverts either.
Surfing to the news site that has grabbed my attention with a good headline or to a favourite blog with a funny cartoon I once more miss the adverts. You are all blocked.
After that I check my emails. Everything that vaguely looks like advertising goes to the spam button and the rest is something I'm engaged in i.e. conversations with my friends.
Having digested the latest news, talked to friends, I'm off to my favourite social media site. Today it is Twitter. I've managed to get rid of the aggregators by spamming them with iTunes (thanks Tweetfeed) and I'm now left with the people I want to follow having filtered it with the people that want to follow me. I have five followers.
Jumping onto to YouTube you are all blocked. Unless you have a cool and very funny advert. And so it goes on. So has the internet made it easier or more difficult to chase customers with advertising?
Well,l read the clues. Before, when I was growing up you had an ad rag of a paper, TV, and radio. Three main channels. Is it better or worse?
It got better.
This is a story about multiplication. With a browser strategy, a great headline, funny blog, hubs applications (Twitter, iTunes), interest in your customers (even if they spam), great on-demand video, baiting word of mouth referral.... if you can genuinely engage you now have more options through a simple IP protocol than you ever had through traditional channels.
If I want to avoid watch a TV advert I turn off the TV. If I want avoid an internet ad I put a blocker on. But that doesn't stop an advertiser engaging as the computer is still on.
You just have to be a bit .... engaging?