Online advertising is in trouble…deep trouble

Bob Hoffman, via his newsletter, said, “the advertising and marketing industries had a dream. The dream was that interactive media would revolutionize advertising and make it far more engaging, relevant, and effective. There’s been one problem. Nobody’s interested in interacting with advertising. One of the great benefits of interactivity to consumers is that it helps them avoid advertising”. Are advertisers listening?

Last week, we learned that Facebook lobbyists were smearing Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook, which led to the most threatening scandal in the company’s history. We have also seen that more brands are begging Facebook to take their money because they’re brain dead.

Click-through rates on display ads continue to drop. By most reports, they are below one in a thousand. Every attempt at “interactive” TV has been a dismal failure. YouTube has billions of ostensibly “viral” videos. No one has ever viewed the overwhelming majority but the creator’s mom.

Bob Hoffman

I can’t remember the last time ANY advertising made me want to buy a product. When watching an NFL game, I usually tune out during commercials and go to my iPad. It seems that marketers have forgotten the diminishing returns of too much frequency.

One client spent six figures on a programmatic buy, and his website metrics remained poor. When I analyzed the metrics, I found that I could not account for almost 60% of the clicks. More than half his spending was gone to fraud.

When time is the new currency, people don’t have the time or patience for advertising. Most consumers are also upset at product shortages and prices while CPG companies are reporting record profits.

Am I suggesting that ALL advertising is irrelevant? No, of course not, but I am telling you that most advertising is garbage. It’s one thing to run ads to announce a new product; it’s another to continually run the same commercials over and over to the point the audience ignores them.

My ISP provides me, free of charge, with an ad blocker which I use via my router. The pop-up and intrusive ads were all over the place because advertisers had to interrupt us whenever they had a chance.

There have been so many “experts” who have enhanced their brands by telling us we have to use online ads that it makes me sick.

The best online ads are developed and tested online, flighted with new creative, and measured against metrics like bounce rate and purchase (if an e-commerce site). Amazon’s ad business is almost as big as their commerce business, and it’s increasing. THAT’s a good use of online ad placement, but Amazon can bump your ad’s position to promote their products which stink.

I’m not sure if the IAB can ever clean up the online advertising market, but I am sure that marketers are wasting a ton of money online and don’t adequately measure their results. According to online advertisers, throw enough shit against the fan, and some of it will stick.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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