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Is marketing technology hindering our intelligence?

Whether you call it adtech, martech, marketing automation or programmatic, far too many marketers are treating technology solutions like they’re a panacea for our ailing relationships with consumers.

Don’t get me wrong — marketing technologies are amazing. They allow us to reach greater numbers of consumers with an increasing level of personalization. However, since the dawn of the printing press, countless marketers have looked at buttons as a way to turn their brains off. These technologies somehow make them believe they can get great — even better — results by reaching more people with the same tired, old pitches.

For instance, with the invention of the printing press, marketers thought volume was the solution. So they flooded the streets with flyers, which consumers promptly threw away. And with radio, these marketers tried to get noticed by turning up the volume, which only inspired consumers to turn the channel.

Many marketers today are playing the same game with digital communications. They replace community managers with auto-responders and try to use adtech to serve millions — if not billions — of “personalized” creative.

Here’s what these marketers are missing: with each advance in marketing technology, consumers also get smarter. They find new ways to tune marketers out. And that’s why we’re staring down the barrel of a crisis in advertising. This desire to find some peace amidst this deafening and relentless marketing chatter has spawned an entire industry — one dedicated to helping people completely block markets out.

The Solution? Training Our Brains as We Build Technology

The single greatest technology marketers have is the one square foot between their ears. As we improve our ability to serve more people in the same amount of time, we have to train our brains to keep pace with that evolution.

Rather than turning our minds off, we should advance our exploration of consumer behavior, research and creativity in step with technological progress.

I know — it’s not as fun as pushing a button, but ask anyone at any gym on the planet and they’ll tell you that all the technology in the world can’t substitute for the raw effort that comes from continuously challenging and pushing ourselves.

Think of it as a proportional sunk cost in the development of new technologies: as you calculate the costs and efficiencies of marketing automation, raw time and talent have to increase at the same rate. Only then will we be able to scale the creativity and innovation that consumers demand of us — and ideally grab their attention (not to mention their business, loyalty and advocacy) along the way.

Re-Posted From Jared’s Post On MoxieUSA.com

The Solution To Ad-Blocking? Try Better Ads

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One of the things I love about social media is that it’s impossible to fake great content. This is a lesson that seems to be lost on the majority of advertisers trying to circumvent ad-blocking technologies.

If you haven’t heard about the battle between ad-blockers and advertisers, you should check out this article on DIGIDAY. It details not only the ways advertisers are getting around ad-blocking technologies but ways that advertisers can now actually buy their way past them.

All this effort, money, and frankly ethically grey behavior begs one question – why are advertisers trying to force something on users that they clearly don’t want?

Again, I refer back to social media. When a social media user doesn’t like a piece of content, it doesn’t get read, or liked, or shared. In response marketers have to come up with better content. In the end the users is – and hopefully will always be – the arbiter of whether a message gets through.

What some advertisers are tying to do is force the same intrusive content that forced ads to be blocked in the first place. Even the IAB is against this conflict-of-interest.

Personally, when an ad fails I look at the content, I look at the audience, and see if I missed some piece of the puzzle.

Almost always, I am trying to force my language on the audience versus speaking to the audience in theirs. I adjust the messaging and/or the format and see if I can’t make a connection with the audience that helps them solve a problem or realize a need. If I can’t do that in an appealing and compelling way the ad doesn’t deserve to be served.  It’s that simple.

If you’re an advertiser; please stop wasting your money on these kind of technologies.  Spend it on getting to know your audience or on great copywriters. In the end, your dollars will go way further and your clients will be much happier.

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