Digital marketing blog Econsultancy posts about the annoying new practice among publishers and advertisers to gain consumer’s attention on the web. Their brilliant idea for more relevant marketing is to make it harder to tune out ads. Yes, this sounds like a very consumer-centric approach: you’re ignoring me when I speak, so I’m going to scream, jump up and down and wave my arms. Now maybe you’ll pay attention.
For example, Gillette Venus razors is doing this on Cosmopolitan.com by deploying disruptive ad units…336×700 fixed panel units as well as 970×66 pushdown units. But, the centerpiece of the campaign is videos featuring a lifestyle expert who gives sunbathers tips on finding the best swimsuit for their body type. The product is mentioned in grooming tips interspersed in the videos.
The video is the best part of this campaign, assuming they’ve validated through search and social monitoring that this is a topic their primary audience is interested in learning more about.
I cringe every time I see a marketer using digital channels as another great distribution point for traditional push/interruption advertising. It just makes no sense whatsoever to me, because the rejection of this method is so pronounced and immediate in the digital space. For example, open rates on most email and click through rates on most search and banner advertising are at all time, single digit lows.
The sooner marketers accept that people don’t like advertising and that digital tools allow us to skip that which we do not like, the sooner marketers can abandon a practice that makes them seem woefully out of touch and find methods that actually work.
Gillette is on the right branch here with the lifestyle videos. The right approach can be summed up like this: The more marketers behave like advertisers in the digital space, the more they will fail. The more they behave like publishers and content producers, the more they will succeed.
To engage in conversations with your audience, you have to seek first to add value then you can sell. This is what creating branded conversations is all about.