90% of these people say they hate advertising


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“It’s intrusive”.

“It’s annoying”.

“It’s anything but personal”.

“It interrupts me all the time from what I really want to do”.

“It’s useless, I don’t really care about it.”.

“If I click on the banner, that’s by accident. Sometimes the X is hidden or floats around!!” Yes, where the hell is the X?

“Honestly, I just hate it”.

These are some of the responses to the question “What don’t you like about advertising?” John asked to a group of ESADE MBA candidates who stopped by our office last week. They were on a trip to London to meet local startups (like iadbox and Deliveroo), incubators (like The Sandpit “Business Builder”) and financing parties, to better understand the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

When asked the opposite, what they liked about advertising, the response was silence. Followed by silence. And after some more silence, only 2 stated it can help discover new things. “It can surprise you!” said one of them. That was it. The group then quickly returned to talking about why they hate advertising.

John first talked the group through his personal entrepreneurial journey, the ups and downs, and the importance of finding the fundamental balance between work and family. He followed with an overview on the Martech landscape. “It’s pretty crowded” he said, and defined it as the land of opportunities. In only 2 years, from 2012 to 2014, the total mobile internet ad revenues increased by 273.4%. But how did online advertising change? Yes, we’ve got Facebook’s Canvas that is enabling brands to move towards storytelling for better user engagement, but annoying display banners are still present.

Consumers are no longer compromising and having a blind eye, and this easily emerges from the common use of adblockers (200M worldwide are using them today), they only “consume what they want, where they want and how they want”, to cite Scott Donaton from Adweek. This is what we’ve been preaching at iadbox since day 1: give your users what they want, and they will listen to you. Our mission is to enable engagement between people and brands with a value exchange controlled by the user itself:

data + permission + attention in exchange for entertainment + commerce (deals) + reward

This is our winning formula, that’s what our clients love about iadbox and why it works (we are showing engagement rates up to 40% on apps and 5% on mobile websites). iadbox is time filling, unintrusive, it creates a habit, it’s personalised and helps people discover new things (deals and apps, based on their preferences). And there are plenty of other reasons why people would look at it (you can read them all in 24 Reasons People will Look in an Ad Box)

The old methods to create engagement are obviously no longer working (ie: banner ads and intrusive advertising): the time people spend on print and TV, and the ad spending on these media, are increasingly dropping, radio is just there sitting quietly, while mobile represents a $25B+ opportunity in the US only. A lot can be done, but needs to be done differently. Like we do at iadbox.

Some of john’s reading suggestions to learn about engagement marketing:

  • Communities Dominate Brands: Business and Marketing Challenges for the 21st Century by Tomi T Ahonen (2005-03-05) by Tomi T Ahonen; Alan Moore
  • Tomi’s blog: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto, 2 Jun 2011, by Levine and Locke
  • Follow Doc Searls: http://www.searls.com/
  • No Straight Lines, 3 Nov 2011 by Alan Moore

Have something to add? Share it in the comment section below.

Lara Pizzato
Marketing Manager at iadbox @lara_pizzato

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