Is Digital Killing Your Brand?

Your brand is the perception people have of your company.  And there’s a good chance that your digital advertising is eroding your position in the marketplace.  Here’s why.

First is the intrusive nature of so much of digital advertising itself.  In its relatively short lifetime, it has become the antithesis of permission-based, opt-in marketing.

If you start searching for rants against digital, you’ll be reading for a very long time.  The fact that ad blocking software followed so quickly in the digital wake, and has been embraced with such velocity, speaks volumes about how people feel about the medium.  Over half of all online consumers – and nearly two thirds of millennials – use some form of ad blocking.  And that number is still rising.

The astonishing fact that anti-ad blocking tools are being deployed so swiftly shows the blind spot many advertisers have in this regard.  Their near-complete disregard for consumers’ hatred of pop-up ads and the slower page loading times they’re forced to endure is accelerating the eventual demise of the medium.

Second, and perhaps more insidious, is how completely math has trumped marketing.  So much energy is expended on getting messages in front of prospects, yet little or none is devoted to making those messages engaging or entertaining.

This complete disregard for creating anything that an online consumer would actually want to see makes digital unique among media.  In television, email, print, direct mail, outdoor and all the rest, the emphasis is on engagement.  Not in the digital world.  This disinterest in doing the hard work of earning your prospect’s attention is reaping exactly the whirlwind of consumer distaste it deserves.

Third, in spite of the ability to generate metrics around digital, its ROI is hardly the stuff of dreams.  Too many advertisers seem to confuse the low cost per impression or click with an actual sales.  While digital makes a lot of sense for some online retailers, its return for those who transact business offline or who have a longer path to purchase often fails to measure up to other media and marketing methods.

So what to do?  If digital is the right tool for the job, use it the right way.  Target with relentless focus, so that your ads are more likely to be encountered by people who are really looking for what you do.  Try greater frequency and shorter length.  Above all, get creative.  Engage.  Enlighten.  Entertain.  Include a call to action.  And remember that digital is just one tool among many.  Use it judiciously.