How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?”

How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?” image seek truth 300x272How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?”I wrote this article on Forbes recently and it was completely unplanned. But my daughter smacked me in the head with a question about my career that I knew I had to write about. It includes some components of things I’ve covered recently so apologies if it’s a repeat for some of you, but here it is…

Last night I was watching TV with my oldest daughter. And after shaking our heads at a really bad commercial, she asked me the question we’ve all asked many times: how did that commercial ever get made?

She continued by asking me a number of questions which all boil down to:

Why Does Most Marketing Stink?

The statistics do not paint a pretty picture:

  • Consumers are bombarded with over 5,000 marketing messages a day, up from around 2,000 just a few years ago
  • Two-Thirds of us are on the “Do Not Call List” to avoid telemarketing
  • 86% of us skip TV ads
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened and goes straight to the trash
  • 90% of emails are never opened and 99.5% of emails receive no clicks
  • 99.9% or more of banner ads receive no clicks
  • Recent eye-tracking studies show 18-34 year-old millennials do not look at banners on the web pages they visit 

For those of us in marketing and business leaders everywhere, these figures can serve as a kick in pants. But the bigger question is “why?”

It’s Time For Brands To Become Publishers

How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?” image Its Time For Brands To Act Like Pubishers 300x171How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?”Many years ago, David Ogilvy advised marketers to concentrate on the “content of your advertising, not its form.” Now we’re seeing marketing leaders support for the approach of publishing content instead of advertising.

Last month, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) held it’s annual “Masters of Marketing” conference in Phoenix. More than 2,200 people attended to listen to the advertising secrets and predictions from leading brands like Walmart, Chrysler and GE.

According to AdAge’s Antony Young, one of the main takeaways of the ANA event was for marketers to “consider content over advertising.”

GE’s CMO Beth Comstock was one of the speakers at the ANA event supporting this approach. She challenged the assumption that B2B Marketing is boring and advised the audience to take innovative approaches to storytelling.

According to Beth, their content efforts are all part of a grand scheme to “shout louder then we spend.” And regarding challenges to so-called “native advertising“, Beth responds: “It almost doesn’t matter who produces this content, as long as it’s good.”

How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?” image newspaper advertising revenue 300x20149How Would You Answer “Why Does Most Marketing Stink?”

73% of consumers surveyed recently said they “could care less if the brands they use disappeared.”

To see the impact of this trend, all business leaders should check out “the one chart everyone in marketing needs to understand.”

This is not just about newspapers. Ineffective marketing is having an effect on every aspect of the business. That is why so many marketing leaders are suggesting that content is the new advertising.

Businesses that succeed in the future will transcend product messages that we all ignore and will start consistently creating content as a product.

They will realize that marketing is about creating an emotional connection with their consumers. And the best way to do that is to serve their information needs.

How Can Businesses Publish Marketing That Doesn’t Stink

  • Realize that customers will continue to tune out promotional marketing in traditional channels. So stop creating marketing that stinks.
  • Because Marketers have been slow to respond, we should quantify the gap between customer behaviors and the marketing mix and shift to a customer-centric marketing culture.
  • Define Content marketing and social media strategies that meet customer needs!
  • Publish content that informs and entertains customers through a content strategy that holistically considers audience content and channel needs.

So what did I tell my daughter? Why does so much marketing stink?

I explained to her that the decisions made by a businesses are a complex thing to understand. Fortunately, she’s too smart for this half-baked answer. And she pressed me further…

I told her that too often we create marketing that we think will make the people inside the business happy instead of what will make the customers happy. She pointed out that if it stinks, it won’t make the business people happy and eventually things will get better.

So it seems that she’s an optimist, like me. But what do you think? Will we stop creating so much crap and start acting like publishers?

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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