In the world of marketing, virtually every company out there is dissecting me according to my interests, attitude and behaviour in an effort to connect with me and secure me as an end consumer. The problem is I’m sick and tired of being chased after like a dog with a bone. The monumental growth of digital advertising has made this chase even more frustrating as every nook and cranny on the internet is now up for grabs. You could be reading about the origins of ISIS on your smartphone but can’t get past the first paragraph without being exposed to a Victoria’s Secret ad all because you once visited their site on a quest for the perfect bikini. Earlier today I was trying to read an article on why Canada chose not to sign a UN resolution combatting the ‘Glorification of Nazism’ but when I clicked on ‘read more’ this is what I got:
Yes, about a week ago following a night out that consisted of heavy drinking and fried food, I was investigating natural ways to treat indigestion. I searched, Google delivered, I clicked and…BAM…heartburn solved. There was no need for a follow up from Zantac. Really! What amplified the maddening effect of this behavioural targeting is the fact that I couldn’t scroll past the banner to continue reading so don’t ask me why Canada didn’t sign the resolution, I have no effin clue.
The kicker in all of this is that I actually work in marketing. I’m exposed to campaigns day in and day out meant to target…well…me. I’m also constantly subject to conflicting views on what brands should be doing to get through to their audience by so called experts in the field. One guy is telling you how you should use social media and another is saying brands don’t belong there. Everyone’s got a theory but it seems no one has a solution. Data shows that smartphones now have a higher penetration than desktop so everyone’s been jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon. But at what point will we realize that we’re polluting good content with bad? I mean, toilet paper has a larger penetration than both of the above so should brands be putting their messages on that? Frankly, it could make for a more charming experience.
In my opinion, the answer is simple. If you can’t educate me, entertain me or inspire me then you have nothing to tell me so please let me be. Your efforts are futile and likely, counter-productive. Stop finding me. Trust that I will look you up if I am interested and Google will ensure it’s easy. Moreover, if I find you and like what you have to say then I will share your message myself on social media, you don’t have to show up uninvited.