Buyers place confidence in reputable content and reliable opinions – not ads. We have known for years that consumers doubt and avoid traditional advertising. Trust in advertising continues to decline as we go into a new year. A 2015 Nielsen study demonstrated that the most-trusted sources of advertising by rank were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites, and reviews. If anything, this trend is escalating as we move into 2019.
Advertising has developed a negative stigma with consumers. Bombarded with ads, and skeptical of exaggerated claims and empty promises, they are less receptive to tactics that were effective a few short years ago. And with 30% of internet users using ad blockers by the close of the year, traditional ads won’t even reach a third of most target audiences. But this doesn’t mean you should abandon advertising completely. TEEM is seeing success in several areas, particularly with digital advertising. We are advising our clients to put their budgets against:
- Content marketing – delivering education, information and entertainment – the kicker is that the content has to be highly targeted, truly relevant, and deliver value to the viewer;
- Native advertising – ads that are formatted like posts or articles and are displayed in the natural stream of users’ online patterns. Rather than being intrusive and distracting, native advertising conveys a story in an informal, authentic way;
- Influencers – leveraging trusted personalities to reach their followers with a mutually beneficial message through comfortable channels of engagement;
- Referral relationships and partnerships – nothing engenders immediate confidence more than a recommendation from another human being or a well-loved brand.
There is no stopping marketing automation and the advance of technology. But as nice as adtech, social platforms and automation solutions can be, they also distance a brand from it’s core customer base. Authenticity and helpfulness (regardless of the delivery channel) can help reclaim relationships lost due to tech and automation. We are also encouraging clients to be transparent about issues, respond honestly to negative feedback or reviews, and communicate regularly and reliably with their customers. The old rule is still the best rule. ‘Do unto others…’ (you know the rest).