"Someone's knocking at the door, somebody's ringing the bell, someone's knocking at the door, somebody's ringing the bell, do me a favor, open the door and let 'em in."
Being the pop culture savant that I am, the first thing I thought of when I read the headline "Global Study Shows Marketers Missing Digital Opportunity" was the opening lines to the Wings' song "Let 'Em In." See in addition to being a marketing, advertising and branding fanatic, I am also one prone to invoke and evoke otherwise trivial tidbits into my everyday lexicon.
The aforementioned headline is from a press release I read on businesswire.com and was in reference to the results of a global study, The State of Online Advertising, conducted by Adobe. As I began to read the release I saw a quote which was highlighted that reaffirmed my inner channeling of Mr. McCartney.
It was from Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes and it went something like this:
"Digital marketing has created a remarkable opportunity, but it comes with higher expectations from consumers. They expect a story tailored specially for them, a level of trust and transparency with the brands they do business with and, most importantly, a great experience. Brands delivering anything less will ultimately be ignored."
Consumers are the ones knocking at the door and Mr. & Mrs. Online Digital Marketer are not answering the door.
Well in the first place, part of the answer lies in Ms. Lewnes quote. "They expect a story tailored specially for them..."
The word "expect" alone is powerful insomuch as no longer do consumers hope for a personalized experience, they expect it - they demand it. And Ms. Lewnes went on to say "We now have the technology and know-how to target relevant and personalized marketing messaging and media to our customers. Shame on us, if we don't deliver on that."
Looking at Ms. Lewnes quote in its entirety tells me that, more than anything else, consumers want a relationship with brands. And with that relationship is an expectation that said brand will maintain "a level of trust and transparency" at all times. Else, as she puts, risk being ignored.
The Effect Or Lack Thereof Of Online Advertising
From the Adobe study:
As you can see from the chart, there is quite the prevailing thought among consumers as to the effectiveness of online advertising and in particular web banner ads. The gap is very wide in the US and Europe when it comes to how effective consumers view online and banner advertising compared to what the marketers entrusted to create them believe.
David C. Edelman, global co-leader, Digital Marketing and Sales Practice, McKinsey & Company didn't pull any punches in talking about banner advertising and it's impact on consumers saying:
"Banners have brought much of the worst characteristics of advertising - being intrusive and manipulative, catching one's eye with hyperbole, and using surreptitiously-captured information - into the digital space. Consumers realize they are now in control and won't accept it."
You tell em' David. Consumers are driving the bus Mr. Kramden (another trivial reference) and marketers need to realize they're along for the ride. Oh marketers can and should reference points of interest along the route, AKA content, but make no mistake about it - the driver will decide when to stop and smell the proverbial roses.
Ok, enough metaphors.
A Matter Of Trust
No, I won't reference the Billy Joel song of the same name, but I will reference this, also from the Adobe study:
Notice a trend?
Consumers are skewed toward the left side of the chart which is home to the non-digital/traditional world whereas marketers place more value than consumers do on the digital side of the ledger.
Could the reason consumers do not trust digital - websites, blogs, social media - be because of the content they are reading and ingesting? Could this content simply be not very good? Not relevant? Too salesy?
No brand would ever do that, right? #sarcasm
You Are So Annoying
Ah to annoy. Something my wife tells me I do to her all the time.
But I digress.
In the world of marketing and advertising, annoy is most definitely a four-letter word for we surely do not want to annoy consumers.
As per the study, here's the most annoying marketing and advertising methods according to consumers: (in descending order):
- Phone calls from marketers
- Pop-up ads
- Ads before online videos
- Text message ads
- Ads in applications/games
The least annoying types (starting with the least):
- Advertorials in newspapers and magazines
- TV commercials
- Product placements in movies/TV shows
- Google search ads
- Traditional mail advertising
I don't know about you but to me the most annoying by far are ads that appear before online videos, especially those you cannot skip. Nothing will turn me off faster to a brand than making me sit through your commercial or video before getting to what I really came to see.