Two-thirds of consumers (66%) surveyed want fewer marketing messages, and 27% feel they are bombarded by marketing messages, according to The Optimove 2023 Consumer Marketing Fatigue Survey (link). Plus, almost eight in ten consumers (79%) say they unsubscribed from at least one retail brand in the past three months, caused by an overload of marketing messages. In addition, 61% of consumers responded that they have unsubscribed from three or more retail brands due to too many marketing messages.
Research from YouGov and Adobe, among others, suggests consumers are growing tired of monotonous brand empathy. Branding messages have become like political promises; nobody wants to hear them, and they don’t believe them.
Consider this; three-quarters (75%) of brands could disappear, and consumers wouldn’t care or would easily find a replacement, per Havas Media Group’s 2021 Meaningful Brands report. In addition, 71% of consumers don’t believe brands will deliver on their promises.
What we have here is failure to communicate.
Marketers spend billions on ads, while, in the meantime, consumers tend to spend their lives trying to avoid them. Eight out of ten people in a research firm Kantar’s survey said that ads are annoying. Meantime, the Cannes Festival of Creativity was the usual self-congratulatory event of agencies and tech companies, spiced with the newest buzzword, Metaverse, and NFT; one key element was missing from panels and symposiums – the consumer.
Advertising is not trusted.
The shocking fact is that 96% of people don’t believe that ads are truthful, according to Inc. Magazine. Consumers do not trust advertising, and one can’t blame them. Gallup conducted a survey asking people how they would rate the honesty and ethical standards of workers in 21 professions. Nurses were rated top, 85%, while advertising practitioners were fourth from the bottom at a 10% approval rating, slightly ahead of car salesmen, telemarketers, and politicians.
The average American is exposed to around 4,000-10,000 ads daily. Most of this is noise, and consumers generally do not care about advertising. More consumers do not need any advertising to determine which brand or service to buy. But ad volume isn’t the only problem, as ads are becoming ever more intrusive, inescapable, and offensive due to advances in technology and data science. People are constantly bombarded with ad junk which turns them off.
So what to do?
1ne: Brands must break away from MBA spreadsheet marketing of testing, retesting, and validating messages and instead talk to their audience as people, not targets.
2wo: Use listening tools to understand what consumers are talking about and act on the findings.
3hree: Stop with “branding talk.” Talk to consumers like you would if you met them on the street.
4our: Understand that your marketing will be questioned when you raise prices and report record profits. It’s going to cost you share.
5ive: Throw out all the big data, get up off your ass, and visit buyers and retail stores. Talk to employees and watch how people shop.
6ix: Implement faster. Please stop with weeks or PowerPoints and meetings. If you learn something significant about your market, act on it NOW.
7even: Change your organization from one that focuses on selling to one that focuses on helping customers. It’s amazing how many brands are cutting customer service.
8ight: Stop using influencers in TV ads and use real people instead.
In short, make your brand more human and less business school bullshit.