As Lou Paskalis of Bank of America pointed out today during the first of many panels at the 2016 Ad Age Digital Conference, there has never been a better time to be in marketing. There are more platforms and channels at our disposal to create engaging advertisements than ever before, and yet, we’re also facing our biggest threat – ad blockers.
Lou said it better than anyone else – ad blocking presents a “canary in the coal mine” conundrum to marketers, providing proof that consumers don’t like what we’re feeding them. Why do we continue to ignore what consumers want, relying on old and outdated tactics to get their attention? Consumer solutions such as Adblock Plus allow consumers to filter out advertisements while they browse the web, so they only see what they want to see: engaging content.
Ad blocking software is designed to block the thing that makes the website possible to exist in the first place. When did consumers get the idea that everyone deserves content for free? In a sense, consumers are pirating content that you worked hard to make by blocking ads.
In a shout heard around the world, marketing experts are declaring, “traditional advertising is dead,” when in fact this is just a consumer’s cry for help. Work harder to show ads that are appropriate to the consumers who are seeing them. Let your ads be a service to the consumer, delivering the right message at the right time. And rather than a sales pitch that’s as dry as a Saltine cracker, try promoting your engaging content, and drawing potential customers in with a great story.
If you’re shaking your head, asking “how will I reach my target audience now,” there is a simple solution. Creating engaging content has evolved into “storymaking,” and you can learn all about that here.