I believe, as an Advertising community, we can all agree on one thing: every day, it gets harder and harder to create and launch Ads that actually fulfill their destinies of effectiveness. Of course, we are warriors and keep coming up with new ideas to make them work, but it’s not up for debate that the Advertising industry has challenges today that it didn’t face 20 years ago. So today, we’ll be going through (what I believe to be) the main reasons why Ads have become less effective, so let’s go:
Overwhelming nature of Ads
Nowadays, people are stimulated 24/7 with publicity campaigns everywhere. Whether you are browsing the internet, walking down the street, listening to the radio, or having a coffee in the local bar, there is no escaping from the advertising world we live in. Given this situation, the average person has become absolutely immune to most of the publicity campaigns. No matter how good of a PPC you are or how creative your Display Ad is, once they’ve decided to shut down the part of the brain that pays attention to publicity, there is nothing else to do. Except, you know, go crazy original and make your best efforts to turn it on again.
An interesting tangent I’d like to go through here is: Did we, maybe, go too far here? The Advertising industry grew a lot in a very short time and what used to be brand new and exciting is now annoying. My concern here is, had we gone a little slower, would Ads now remain as effective as ever? I’m not saying we should have stopped the advances, I’m just wondering what would have happened if we hadn’t annoyed our way into making people so resistant to our campaigns. I guess we’ll never know, but hey, what’s the use in crying over spilt milk, right?
People can now judge Ads
Undoubtedly, the market today is 1000% more competitive than it was at the beginning of Advertising history. Given the number of offers people are faced with everyday, they are no longer going to buy whatever Ad you put in front of them. Even if they are no experts, most people are trained to make a basic analysis on how good your Display Ad is based on the millions of Ads they see per day (check point 1). If they see two ads of the same product and one is meh and the other one is hilarious, which one do you think they’ll go with? Exactly. This reality has its good and bad side, of course. This capability makes it very hard for us to create Ads that actually catch people’s eyes, but also forces us to keep getting better and improving our Campaign Strategies.
Our long term nemesis: Ad blockers
I can’t even complain about these without feeling like a hypocrite because I myself use them, like most of today’s internet sailors. It should not surprise us that our Ads are becoming less and less effective when people are actually choosing to have them blocked so they don’t see them at all. As we have already agreed, people are over-stimulated and more often than not don’t want to see any Ad ever again, so it’s not a huge shock that they’ll choose to just go ahead and block every Display Ad to exist. Considering that the most modern browsers come with an Ad blocker installed by default, it’s needless to say that this is where the world is tending to go.
Our most recent enemy: The targeting tool
Not every Ad is meant for whatever person to see it just as not every product is meant for anyone to buy it. No matter how many Display Ads on running shoes Google wants to show me, I’m never ever going to get a pair, and the same thing happens with everything. That’s why it’s so important to have a targeting tool that actually works. We all know Google Ads (for privacy reasons) has been limiting the targeting options for us to choose from, making it really hard to get the Ad to be seen by our actual targets. So how can we expect our Display Ads to be effective if they are seen by the wrong group of people? My recommendation is to get a strong PPC Tool that can help you target the correct portion of the internet.
So, my conclusion here is very simple: It’s no surprise that today’s market is not as receptive to Display Ads as it was a few decades ago, because our communities and technologies haven’t stayed the same either. It’s no brand new information that advertisers are always looking for and trying new alternatives such as, for example, Branded Content and Product and making very big profits of it, so why should we consider these new transformations bad news?
The PPC and Advertising world is changing every day and it’s our challenge to keep up with it and improve ourselves more and more. I believe the most effective way to do this is to keep trying new ways of advertising and remain searching for the most effective tools we can find. Of course, we can’t pause evolution and, since the only way we can go is further, so should our Ad Campaigns.