Have you ever clicked on an online ad purposefully? I never have and over the years have instinctively learnt to filter them out subconsciously; I simply don’t give them any focus or attention, I go straight for the content. I may possibly be atypical but this begs the question of whether pouring money into online advertising really brings a worthwhile return on investment. A recent study adds more fuel to the fire as it found that “only 6% of people online are contributing 50% of the clicks to display advertisements” and that the majority of these click-throughs did not convert into sales.
Photo by dnorman
This is what my marketing profile looks like:
- I don’t click on web adverts/sponsored links ever, if you force a pop-up ad on me goodbye
- I don’t buy the special offers in supermarkets unless it is something I was planning to buy anyway
- I don’t window shop, I know what I want before hand, I go get it (sometimes after viewing online)
- I don’t follow fashion, I use things till they are worn out usually (exception: Apple)
- I don’t read spam, you better have an unsubscribe option for your newsletter
- I don’t like personalised advertising ala Facebook Beacon but I don’t mind Amazon style recommendations
I am not a marketers dream. Maybe it’s a male thing?
Aside from this unfortunate reality there is a side to marketing in general which I find particularly unethical; playing on peoples sensibilities to sell them things they don’t really need or want. It also sometimes feels like a lot of these things are targeted at those most vulnerable (e.g. children / those with low income) which is pretty deplorable if we contend any notion of social responsibility. Even the concept of viral marketing has been sabotaged by those wanting to make a quick buck making me even more cynical about the whole business.
Coming full circle, the only real way to build audience or a brand is to provide something which is genuinely useful to the consumer (What is good content?). If you can manage this then to an extent it will market itself. Gimmicks/promotions only have a short life cycle and presentation will only get you so far; once the illusion is gone those valued eyeballs wont be coming back…
Feel free to comment if you disagree or have a different point of view 🙂