Spray-and-Pray Advertising

Marketing people know this down deep inside, but are afraid to admit it.
If they did, they would lose their budget. So they keep doing the same thing
over and over, trying to make it look good.

You know how it goes for broadcasters? Ninety-nine percent of the people
who hear a 30-second radio ad think it’s 29 seconds too long. Everyone can
get on board with that during a conversation.

But, it’s also true that 1% of the people think the radio advertisement
is way too short. In fact, they’d like 5 minutes or 10 minutes or more
because they NEED what’s being advertised. Your marketing goal should be to
reach that 1% without turning off the other 99%.

How quickly we forget this. How numbed out we all become to advertising
because we have think we have no control over what’s bombarding us.

Hence, we fall prey to the advertising agency creative gods who go along
with our desire to only use as many banner impressions as we have budget
for, and send as many emails as we can find addresses for – regardless. It’s
safe for us; it’s safe for them. Well, assuming they’re effective.

We spray the technical websites with enough banners and send enough
emails and sooner or later, something’s gotta happen, right? Even if it
doesn’t, we can all create PowerPoint presentations that show numbers
numbers numbers – always increasing. Do this well and we get our quarterly
review ‘atta-boy/girl’ and yearly raise. Right? That’s what marketers are
thinking when their best efforts to help you is to add email addresses to a
list, send lots of emails, set up blogs and logins to
get people all blogging at once at your company. Bless their hearts,
they just don’t know any other way.

But … that kind of thinking really ain’t working like it once
did.  To illustrate this point when I’m giving a talk, I ask for anyone
in the audience to tell me one radio ad they remember hearing on the way
in.  I ask when was the last time they actually called the number or
bought the product advertised on TV or radio. I then ask, do you think the
people you are marketing to are really any different from you? Naw … they
are just like you. They tune out mass advertising, mass broadcasting, mass
banner ads, mass white-paper downloads, just like you.

Does that mean that people aren’t buying?  No.  People want
what they want when they want it. But in this ad-bombarding climate, each of
us prefers to have a friend or business relationship tell us what to trust
and read before making a decision. We wait until we get a reference from a
trusted source before we act. We typically don’t act when we see banners or
hear broadcast advertising.

Blogs (with RSS feeds) are the new trusted sources. It’s about quality of
interaction and trust. Not about numbers.

One hundred people who WANT to be on an RSS feed (meaning, they selected
the feed themselves) are of greater value than thousands of people on an
email list.

How do I know this? I’ve run tests, and you can too. Take your RSS feed
and make that special offer ONLY on that RSS feed, then wait for your
response rate to jump.


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