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Breaking Through Customer Indifference, Part I

Marketing and the full effect on global culture.

Overcoming Consumer Desensitization To Marketing

In my last Insights post, I described the coming renaissance in marketing now emerging from an integrated, cross-silo restructuring of marketing talent within organizations. This article, the first of two parts, is about a parallel revolution–how tech breakthroughs will create entirely new dimensions of customer experience that will make marketing significantly more compelling.

With the advent of the Internet, new technology could have ushered in an exciting new age of customer engagement. Unfortunately, advertisers decided to focus almost exclusively on metrics-based click through rates. In the process, they neglected user experience and overall quality of messaging. As a result, the Internet is now flooded with 5.3 trillion ads a year, creating a stupefying desensitization among consumers.

Banner Blindness

During the Golden Age of advertising in the 1960s and 70s, there were many brilliant print and TV ad campaigns. Some had a powerful effect on the culture. Marketers then understood that effective messages have to evoke heartfelt pleasure in the viewer–often achieved through humor or a fresh, uplifting perspective on everyday life.

By the 2010s, most of us were routinely clicking away from advertising links. A full 70% of mobile users either block ads or are planning to do so. It won’t be easy to recapture consumer engagement because there is now a rigid $60B a year corporate ad infrastructure that will not respond easily to reform.

Many Marketers Now Agree, However, That We Need To Take The Following Steps–

  • Reduce the numbing frequency of posts.
  • Recalibrate objectives by using metrics that track user recall and emotional response(s) to specific messages.

Regardless, Virtual Reality (VR) software will rapidly incorporate a broad range of enticing new technologies to captivate users. In my next installment, I’ll discuss how haptics (touch), smell, and advances in sight and will transform routine messaging into memorable art.


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