Marketing Blog | Addison Clark | Richmond, VA

advertising to ad savvy consumers

As the digital landscape expands, it’s no secret that audiences everywhere are becoming more and more aware of marketing strategies and how targeted ads are populated. As a result, it has become a complete necessity in the industry to incorporate integrity into your strategy.

Before proceeding, there’s one distinction that should be made clear: “marketing” and “advertising.” The general public may often use these terms interchangeably, but there is a key difference. An advertisement is a piece of media, whether digital or physical, that contains a reference to a potential transaction or another type of conversion. Marketing refers to an overall strategy of trying to promote one’s self, brand, etc.

Let’s address the proverbial elephant in the marketing industry-shaped room. People… don’t typically enjoy seeing advertisements. On a large scale, this is understandable – how annoying is it when YouTube makes you sit through two 30-second ads just to watch a 60-second video? When Netflix announced in 2021 that its lowest-priced subscription tier would begin to incorporate ads, there was outrage. Through this strategy, Netflix is expecting to see more registrants enroll in higher-tier subscriptions.

Think about that for a second – Netflix expects that users are willing to pay more money just to not be told that they should spend their money on other things. And honestly, they are probably right.

The early-internet days of people not knowing where ads come from or who makes them are essentially over. As audiences spend more time connected online, they begin to understand the nature of things like geo-targeting, IP tracking, and sponsored social media posts. A study from 2021 notes that 44% of internet users find targeted ads to be invasive. 44% may not be a majority, but it is a significant chunk of your potential reach. No matter how qualified a potential lead could be, there are those out there who will have a negative perception of your brand just because they simply saw your ad.

“This is all fascinating, but what should I do about this?”

Rely on your best practices, that’s what. Your audience shouldn’t have to be tricked. Most digitally-literate people in 2022 can easily see through click-bait attempts, and that also reflects very poorly on the public perception of your brand. These days, there seems to be a strange catch-22 scenario wherein the harder an advertisement tries to captivate a user, the less effective it may be.

Focus all of your effort on making great designs and implementing great strategies. If your team is heavily relying on the best ways to “trick” a user into a conversion, maybe take a step back and think about how the perception of your brand will be affected.

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