How to Make Advertising “Inherently Valuable”

How to Make Advertising “Inherently Valuable” image BMUxlSMCUAEEtChHow to Make Advertising “Inherently Valuable”

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads – that sucks” – Jeff Hammerbacher (Former Head of Data, Facebook)

If you’ve worked in marketing and advertising long enough, you’ll most likely have experienced that ‘Why am I doing this?’ moment.

It’s inescapable. That gnawing, empty distaste towards advertising and the general enterprise of encouraging people to consume items that they may want but not need.

But what if advertising didn’t have to be that way.

What if it was useful, helpful and relevant instead – so that we didn’t feel that we were exploiting people but instead making their lives better.

John Battelle on making advertising “inherently valuable”

Recently, Federated Media’s John Battelle, explored the conundrum of how to make ads less distasteful or, rather, “inherently valuable”.

According to Battelle, to create this advertising utopia you need a number of things to change:

  • “Liquid environment of data” – Enough personal information about what I want, who I am and what I’ve bought to deliver a message that is valuable to me.
  • “A culture of permission” – An opt-in culture where a consumer has given permission for marketers to deliver a personalized message to a consumer
  • “We need technology that can manage this ecosystem”
  • Creativity – the ability to know what to say (insight).

You can watch the full interview here:

Ungirding all of this is content.

Content marketing creates “a culture of permission”

Traditionally, brands – in a bid to capture attention – have interrupted consumers to talk about their product; when you’re reading a magazine – you see an ad; if you’re watching TV – you see a commercial; when you’re online – you get a pop-up. Each of these interruptions is an unsolicited marketing message from a brand that you may or may not give two hoots about.

Consumer research continually highlights that most of these marketing message are irrelevant to their current interests and needs. More importantly, each of us now has increasing control over what marketing we receive from brands; we can opt-out of telemarketing and direct-mail; unsubscribe from email; skip TV ads; and so forth.

The antidote to this has been for brands to start seeking ‘permission’ to gain consumers’ attention. And what better way to gain permission to get someone’s attention than when they are actually looking for you. Or at least something you can help with.

By being useful, informative and helpful, content marketing creates the desired culture of permission.

Getting “Liquid data” & creative insight from content

In an attempt to make their advertising more contextually relevant, marketers have sought insight from every available data pool; demographic, transactional, behavioural and social.

Each of these have their flaws.

I am more than my demographic – a generalisation based on my age bracket, postcode and, perhaps, also my income as well. I am more than the product I’ve bought – indeed, my historic buys are rarely indicative of my future purchases. Social media has been a boon for marketers who have sought to better understand consumers at both an aggregate and individual level, however that too is fraught with problems: our social profiles are rarely reflective of our actual realities, instead we have a tendency to portray, a more flattering, unrealistic ‘curated self’.

At idio, we believe that content consumption reveal consumers’ deepest needs and interests and is a much more relevant and truthful reflection of their contexts; in short, “You are what you read”.

Content analytics allow us to understand the meaning behind an individual’s interaction with a piece of content and collect and draw trends about that individual’s tastes and interests (for some example use cases, read our Guardian article here). Thus, a content marketing driven ecosystem enables marketers to understand the evolving interests for an audience and therefore becomes an excellent way to inform creative and editorial strategy.

Content Intelligence™ – The content marketing technology that joins this all up

We’ve long had programmatic and rules-based technologies that can use a few pre-loaded content assets and deliver them to a limited amount pre-defined customer segments – whether it be in an email blast or optimising a website landing page.

The real challenge is how brands with an addressable base of millions of individuals (often with very different and nuanced interests) and a near unlimited amount of content, can make sure they each one of their customers receives the right marketing message for their unique contexts.

Many – in both the ad-tech and marketing automation space – are hard at work solving this conundrum. At idio, we – and many, many, others – believe we’ve cracked it with Content Intelligence™.

The exciting reality is that permission, data, technology and creative insight have coalesced through content marketing to make it possible for marketers to deliver valuable messages to consumers that actually help them and meet a deeper existential need.

Thanks to content marketing and Content Intelligence™, we can be assured that we’re not just getting consumers to click meaningless adds but actually delivering an “inherently valuable” communication that is making their lives better each day.

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If you’d like to see how idio can make your advertising inherently valuable to your audience, please get in touch – we’re always happy to talk!

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