Four reasons why advertising doesn’t work in the way it once did

The industrialised model of advertising isn’t working as well as it once did. For many years brands were built by creating performance and emotional associations with the brand in the minds of customers primarily with the weight of advertising. Share of mind was created by share of voice (ad spend), and this equated to share of market.

The Internet, whether accessed via desktops or mobile devices such as cellphones and iPads, has changed everything. This is why:

  1. The most powerful force in the Internet is that it connects people, and so pools the knowledge of your friends with yours (so you are no longer ignorant) and so alters the flow and source of information.
  2. Advertising works best when the people you are trying to convince are ignorant and when they trust you to tell the truth (their only source of information about the brand is from the brand).
  3. Trust in advertising messages disappeared because advertisers abused the trust. We lied.
  4. So, now the days of bull-dusting consumers into being brand loyal is over.

With the power shifting from the brand to the consumer, and the former audience becoming both the user and the source of information, we need to think differently about advertising and marketing. This is what we need to do:

  1. Build products and services that deliver. Deliver what the customer wants.
  2. Build into the experience something remarkable. Something big or small that they will talk about.
  3. Give the former audience the tools they need to share your message with their friends and connections. Tools like video clips. They will tell their friends about experiences that are worth talking about. They trust their friends.
  4. Listen to what they say about you, your product and the experience that they are having.
  5. Show you are listening by talking back to them, in public where everyone can hear.

Brands will no longer be built by advertising. Brands will be built by the experience that people have of them, their connections with them, and what they share with each other.

Advertising will still have a role in the future of marketing, but a different role to what it has had until now. The times of telling people what to think are over.



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