Advertising is Dying, It's All About Story Telling
For a long while now, people have become completely fatigued by advertising messages. That's no secret to anyone. The research says that on average, an Australian adult will be exposed to between ten and twenty thousand advertising messages per day. This is a staggering amount of 'clutter' to have to 'filter out' on the daily, no wonder we're tired of it.
Luckily, we've all become pretty good the 'filtering out' process.
I bet when you read how many ads you're exposed to, you said to yourself: 'that can't be right!'
Am I right?
Well, that's because you have become really, really good at 'tuning out'. Think of all the billboards you see as you drive to work, the bus shelters, the signs, the radio ads you hear, the flyers that wind up in your letterbox, the window promotions, the tv ads, the podcast endorsements. It’s endless.
For too long now, advertisers have employed spammy, brushstroke tactics that show no real understanding of who, or where, their target market are spending their time and devoting their attention.
The internet changed all that, at least somewhat, as advertisers are now using data on how users behave, what they engage with, and what they buy.
This means advertising has improved in terms of getting in front of the right kinds of people, at the right times, but the message was still the same. Think: "BUY X! GET IN QUICK."
In 2018, the role of the hard-sell was made redundant.
Today, it's about building trust and credibility with an audience. Research shows that 74% of people trust brands when their objective appears to be around educating their audience. It's not surprising then, that some of the biggest brands in the world have 'spun off' and created entire content divisions; employing teams of people to simply 'tell stories', educate, inspire and inform their audiences.
While this takes time, money and energy, what it creates for businesses who do it right far outweighs the cost.
Story telling is about authenticity. It's about saying 'this is who we are, what we stand for, and what you can expect from us. We might not always be perfect, but we're really trying, and we care what you think, so we're going to listen.'
With the vast majority of purchase decisions by all of us being rooted in emotion (whether we care admit it or not), it's become increasingly important for brands to authentically connect with their people through the power of story.
The days of spammy, in-your-face, blanket messaging is long gone.
That's not to say you won't stop seeing ads any time soon, they will simply be more tailored to you, more carefully planned and executed, and they will involve giving you something, rather than asking you for something.
Brands are increasingly recognising the value of building a genuine relationship with their customers, and it's a win-win on both sides of the fence.
While there are certainly businesses who are a little late to the party (ahem, digital marketing agencies, are you listening?), we will continue to see a massive improvement in the way that we approach the marketing and sales process.
Are you using story telling in your brand? How are you building authenticity with your audience?