The only time we want to see a commercial is during the superbowl.
Traditional advertising was created out of the need for brands to tell consumers how they (the brand) can solve your problems. We’ve all seen ads in Newspapers, magazines, tv commercials, campaign based apps, pay per click ads, ad banners, and billboards. There is just one problem. Consumers are overloaded with advertisements everywhere they turn. No one wants to be interrupted.
Whether you’re reading a blog post, you’re being asked to subscribe, or you’re watching a video on youtube, you are interrupted with advertisements, related videos, and short commercials competing for your attention. Another example would be if you’re browsing your favorite social media stream (twitter, instagram, facebook, Pinterist etc), advertisements are blended into your content, all the while your email inbox has 3000 unread messages. This is a result of a traditional advertising model using the brand as the voice.
Traditional Advertising needs to be declared obsolete. In a similar fashion, retail stores discontinued selling VCRs and VHS, consultancies and agencies need to stop offering “Traditional Advertising” as a means of discovery. Instead, shifting focus to building their brand advocate networks. Imagine being able to check your email and not have any spam, or advertisements flooding your inbox. Imagine browsing social media and only seeing content from people you trust and love. I believe this will increase engagement, remove anxiety of being overwhelmed with advertisements and benefit both the consumer and the brand.
According to webster’s dictionary, “Spam” is defined as an: “unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses”
I don’t know about you, but anything that interrupts my youtube video, or overtakes my screen when i’m trying to read a blog I consider “unsolicited”. However, when it’s our turn to announce to the world a new product or service, why do we first resort to unsolicited means of annoyance?
The rise of influencer marketing.
Consumers want to discover new things (places to go, things to do, things to buy). Brands want to serve more consumers. Traditional advertising has created a culture where it is OK for a brand to tell a consumer “you need this, buy that, go here”. Today, we just see it as noise or spam and simply grow callus to the advertisement. Brands in turn try even harder to disrupt your life and get you to pay attention to them.
The problem is that a brand does not have the same level of trust or personal relationship with us that our friends and families do. This is why there is a movement towards “Influencer Marketing” which is the new form of advertising. Brands are now seeking personal relationships with individuals in exchange for compensation to leverage the trust of their friends and followers to help them discover new products. I believe this model of advertising has so much room to grow and become even more intertwined into our daily lives. This will ultimately cut down on the feeling of drowning in a sea of advertisements.
Using story to build trust.
Story is a powerful way to connect with your audience. Influencer marketing is entirely based on the premise of an ever evolving story. TV commercials also use story, but because its unsolicited, we immediately consider it irrelevent. On social media, we follow and discover the people who we want to be like. They inspire us, they entertain us and influence us. Influencers know how important it is to share their journey of experiences through story. A story is comprised of a character, who wants something and is facing a problem that they are unable to solve. They meet a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action which ends in success or failure. And its with story that we naturally find ourselves curious to see how it ends. All the while we’re being introduced to products and brands that helped guide the influencer we are subscribed to win the day.
So when you’re planning your next marketing campaign, consider collaboration with influencers rather than using mediums that interrupt, overwhelm and frustrate the consumer. After all, you’re trying to “help” your customers.