In days gone by, well-read print media, billboards, cinema and free-to-air TV channels hosted the bulk of
advertising and would guarantee broad exposure! But with the introduction of a sea of cable channels, the
internet, social media and streaming, marketers are finding their ability to connect with their target audience
spread thin and covering the right media for a good result can be tricky.
Further, where advertisers were used to consumers experiencing their marketing efforts as a nonparticipatory audience, social media is where people choose to interact with others, and targeted advertising is regarded as a noisy intrusion.
In 1958 TV commercials represented 13% of programming, today it can be as much as 36%, no wonder recording devices, Netflix, Hulu, other subscription and streaming services, have become popular.
Online, many brands ensure you are targeted based on behavioral data analysis, but 68% of Americans object to targeted advertising (The Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey). Influencing gained popularity with advertisers in response.
The end result is that we live in a society with an information overload problem, and much is being tuned out. In a recent Nielsen study, they found people ignored ads when searching a webpage. Heatmaps tracked the eye movements of participants for three levels of attention: scanning, partial reading, and thorough reading. During all three tasks, the banners and ads were completely ignored, sometimes referred to as "ad blindness."
Gas pump TV advertising really irritates, clicking on email and ads seem increasingly unsafe. Google alone disabled 400,000+ ads from as many sites hiding malware during the course of a year a decade ago (WSJ, Feb 2014). Malware is a lot more sophisticated today and can cause widespread damage to networks, costing vast sums of money to remedy or pay off ransomware attacks.
All indicators are that advertising volume will continue to grow, it follows that the percentage of people tuning out the noise will increase. This means that the real ROI on advertising should decline over time!
IS THERE A BETTER WAY?
Brand Marketing is no longer the holy grail! With online research so easy to do, people see through weak
brands – your brand is as good as the trail of bad or good reviews.
The Holy Grail of Marketing is to grow your product /service sales virally by personal recommendation, either by good old fashioned word of mouth and/or digitally, through Social Media in all it’s incarnations.
But social interaction is a process that is controlled by the end user or consumer, the average person has become immune to the advertising bombardment by sellers, and isn’t going
gaga over their products or services, even less spreading the news to others.
So to the savvy advertiser’s dismay, the industry is engineering itself into a brick wall.
HOW TO GO SOCIAL
So, to take full advantage of social networks, rather than presume they will bend to your
marketing framework, conforming to social networking maybe a friendlier, far more
effective way to market your product/service, taking full advantage of its ability to spread
your word virally.
Some of the most enjoyable buying experiences relate to finding a unique product/service and passing on your ”discovery” by word of mouth or virally over web-based social media at a rate that simply was not possible several years ago. I believe the viral capability is that much more enhanced if the product/service isn’t seen as an effort by advertisers to shove it down our throats. By de-structuring traditional marketing elements, reducing or hiding your logo altogether, downplaying advertising and experiential marketing and focusing marketing efforts instead on the new, more subtle task of enhancing a “discovery” process, certain brands may better conform to, and find acceptance in, a jaded consumer market!
What's more is that Steve Jobs grew Apple from almost bankrupt to the world's most valuable company at that time using those very principles:
As did others with eye-popping success:
I think these examples make it evident that the current advertising/marketing model has long been bested, the question is, when will you get on board to move your organization's income potential forward?