• Warren Leppik

Your online advertising is being ignored

How do I know that your online advertising is being ignored? Well, in Seth Godin’s latest book, “This is Marketing”, he asserts that “online advertising is the most ignored form of advertising ever created”. So, unless you have exercised great care in the planning and execution of your online advertising, which I say includes your content marketing, statistically, you probably fall into the majority that Seth describes. Sorry. But better to at least consider the possibility that your approach may need a rethink rather than continuing to burn money with no ROI.

Research shows that today, the more we interrupt consumers, the less we satisfy the overall experience. Another book I enjoyed called STORYNOMICS by Robert Mckee and Thomas Gerace, believes we have hit rock bottom with some sobering statistics:

  • Since 2008, marketers have begun tracking a phenomenon called BANNER BLINDNESS. Eye tracking technology has revealed that the readers of a web pages are literally looking around an ad while browsing a web page.

  • A study by Infomix found that after being asked to recall the last display ad they saw only 14% of users could name the company, the brand or the product suggesting that brands are wasting millions of dollars in ads that consumers don’t remember

  • In Sept 2015, Adobe announced that 198 million people were using ad blocking software on their desktop devices globally. And ad blocking adoption is growing at 41% annually

  • The study estimated that $41.4 billion in advertising was be blocked worldwide in 2016

  • In the words of the study, “A new front has opened in the popular revolt against interruption and emotional manipulation

  • As consumers ignore, block and pay to avoid advertising, brands have begun to cut advertising budgets, the resulting drop in ad revenues has left media business models upside down.

According to Young-Sae Song, a Forbes Council member, “brands are competing for all the wrong reasons: by being louder, bolder, more scintillating, and more salacious. What we have is a constant flood of disposable content that can never be adequately curated meaning lower quality and less relevance in high abundance. What prospective customers want is to immerse themselves in an engaging conversation, in content on a topic of interest in which they gain new insight that helps them further their interests and goals.”

While reading Seth’s latest book, I discovered another author by the name of Bernadette Jiwa. She believes that “There is no shortcut for creating things that people care about and want to talk about. People will no longer stand for being interrupted. Relevance is the new remarkable. Things we can’t measure could end up being more valuable than the things we can. Shouting NOTICE US just doesn’t work anymore. The great brands of the future will be built by those who have worked hard to gain the insight that allows them to whisper WE SEE YOU rather than shouting LOOK AT ME”. Seth himself believes that "persistent, consistent and frequent stories delivered to an aligned audience will EARN attention and action".

“Good enough” is no longer good enough when it comes to marketing and advertising. When job number one of the advertiser is to interest consumers, in Seth’s words “AVERAGE IS OVER. Marketing needs to reflect what the audience is interested in, not what company leadership is interested in.“

It is my belief, based on over 30 years of helping clients find and tell their stories, that Customer Experience stories are an ideal form of content. Features and benefits are table stakes. People buy based on emotion and then rationalize with data. Clients enthusiastically sharing how you resolved their pain blend both these worlds, by providing relatability. Done well, similar prospects will see themselves in the solutions you’ve provided to others. This social proof of the experience you provide leads to engagement.

The centuries old approach used to reach, acquire and retain customers is dead. And if Chief Marketing Officers don’t wake up and change their approach, their businesses will be too.

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