May 06, 2013

Death of a Sales Method

Are brands practicing wholly outdated methods of engaging an audience?

In a blog for the Huffington Post (NewsAlert) posted on April 29, Joseph Farrell suggested, strongly that the answer is “yes.”

Farrell said that many brands aren’t acknowledging how much the world has changed since the inception of popular advertising, and are “engaging you, the consumer, like it’s an episode of Mad Men.”

He explains that the old – and presumably no longer effective – goal of marketing was to 

"buy eyeballs" of “passive, reflexive consumers, relying on repetition, slogans, empty claims and of course massive impressions to pummel the consumer down the purchase funnel.”

This marketing philosophy was logically thought up in a land before Internet, when the kings of media were radio, TV, magazines, and billboards. Farrell argues that it worked when the consumer had “few options, little control and limited access to content outside corporate-controlled distribution channels.”

Once the Internet began to expand, and has become a main source of advertisement, that old system began to fall apart. Consumers are savvier, too, and they are better at filtering out ads and essentially, tuning out marketing ploys.

This shift, Farrell says “is not going anywhere.” Farrell points out that smartphone penetration in the United States has reached “a watershed moment — 53 percent according to a comScore report released in March.”

Smartphones, tablets and all the apps available on them, are the new hot real estate for advertisers looking to grab attention and melt their brand into your brain. Advertisers are being forced to reckon with the fact that a smartphone isn’t a TV, and iPad isn’t a magazine. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface that is native to the Internet.

Many advertisers are singing the praises of HTML5, seeing it as “a way of speeding development, deploying across multiple platforms and lowering costs,” writes Farrell, who goes on to highlight that the essence of the argument as “HTML5 equals more eyeballs at a cheaper cost with less time. On the other hand, native apps take longer to develop, are platform-specific and cost more money.”

What needs to be taken into consideration, Farrell suggests, is the quality of the app the advertiser is investing in – not so much the idea of getting on as many apps as possible. Unlike with idle TV watching where you may flip through the channels, letting ads pour through you, users are in complete control when they download and maintain an app. If an app fails, then the advertising invested in is obsolete.

In conclusion, Farrell argues that “for brands that are serious about their mobile strategy and want to move past the Mad Men attitude toward mobility, there is really only one option — and that is native development.”

Edited by Rich Steeves


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