Will Advertising Ever Rule The World?
From the Madison Avenue agencies to the current shift towards digital marketing, advertising’s purpose hasn’t changed much over the years: create brand awareness, generate leads, increase revenue, and grow a business’ bottom-line.
It is true, however, that the appearance of the Internet era has brought new challenges to the industry.
When we saw Mark Zuckerberg got called up to answer questions regarding the information of Facebook’s users in front of Congress, it was clear that privacy was now an advertising concern.
Facebook ads offer an incredibly accurate targeting capability from processing user’s data. That’s awesome for us marketers and business owners, isn’t it? We can show our ads to those people that have the highest chances to be interested in them.
But have you ever been targeted by a T-shirt company that seems to know everything about you? It can get creepy.
And at what point does it move from creepy to downright unethical? Privacy and advertising have also been part of the discussion after the last political elections. Facebook took the blame for data hijacking and they have recently taken steps to control political advertising on their platform.
Another issue that the advertising world is experiencing is the digital marketing agencies that are run by so-called “marketers” with no experience.
They have created a culture of amateurism that can hurt the industry as a whole. They charge for unprofessional works that shows no results and is a total waste of their client’s money.
Businesses should now be more careful than ever when deciding who to partner with. They should ask for samples of their work, case studies, and do thorough due diligence on them. Having great content on their blog is a sign that they are a reliable agency to work with.
And last but not least, false advertising is an increasing problem due to digital marketing. We all know that marketing is a powerful ability, but it must only be used for good.
Advertisers have to accept they are personally responsible to what they’re promoting. As a rule of thumb, one should only advertise a product or service that they believe in and consider moral. Facebook and other social media platforms have also developed tools that allow the market to reject companies that are involved in scams and fraud.
This is not to say that advertisement is an unethical industry. The vast majority of marketers do great work. They are indeed the cornerstone of our economy because the livelihood of all businesses depends on it. It’s simple: people can only buy from you if they know about you.
In such a crowded Internet space, “build it and they’ll come” does not work. Companies of all sizes need to have a marketing plan that outlines the strategy that they will follow to promote the products and services they sell.
Marketing then becomes the glue that connects supply (the sellers) with the demand (buyers). How do you reach more people? How do you tell an effective story that shows the brand’s personality? How do you create wants and needs? How do you make people interested? These and more are the questions that advertisers try to answer.
Marti writes about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Find him with coffee and a laptop while traveling back and forth between Barcelona and Charlotte. Connect with him on LinkedIn.