Advertising and MarComm: So often ineffective … yet so often necessary.

Ineffective MarketingIn a column published in late 2013 titled “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?”, Forbes BrandVoice writer Michael Brenner (who is also a marketing executive at SAP) reminds us how the marketplace is tuning out the advertising and marketing messages being pitched to it.

We’ve heard these stats before, but it’s sobering to think of them in the aggregate.  Here are the figures that Brenner reported:

  • On any given day, consumers encounter more than 5,000 marketing messages (which is up significantly from approximately 2,000 messages only a few years ago).
  • ~85% of consumers skip TV ads that appear on their screen.
  • ~45% of direct mail goes straight to the trash without ever being opened.
  • Two-thirds of American adults have placed themselves on the “Do Not Call” Registry to avoid telemarketing pitches.
  • Nine out of ten e-mails are never opened.
  • 99.5% of e-mails receive no clicks.
  • 0.1% (or fewer) of banner ads receive clicks.
  • Eye-tracking studies show that most people have near-complete “banner blindness” when visiting web pages.

Seeing these stats presented all in one place is almost enough to make one swear off of advertising for good!

Except for one thing:  Some sort of promotion is essential for the success of nearly every enterprise.  It’s hard to think of any company or organization that has been successful without engaging in advertising or promotion of some kind, at some point in its evolution.

Of course, the hottest new approach in a MarComm field hungry for more effective strategies and tactics is “content marketing.”

But how new is that concept, exactly?

After all, let’s remember that advertising guru David Ogilvy preached that very gospel for decades, exhorting companies to concentrate on the content of their advertising, not its form.

Michael Brenner suggests that companies “publish content that informs and entertains customers through a content strategy that holistically considers audience content and channel needs.”

… Which is a fancy way of saying that companies need to think beyond the obvious traditional marketing channels.

Plus, they should focus on creating content that provides insights and answers, not the standard feature/benefit information about their products or services.

Let’s see how successful companies can be in leading with content marketing.  Surely, the results couldn’t be worse than the grim MarComm stats quoted in the Forbes BrandVoice column.