From the moment we wake up in the morning, we’re bombarded by ads.
Whether they come in the form of morning news sponsorship ads or a plethora of subway posters, marketing is the background music of every day life. While consumers don’t have to go far to find an ad on every corner — and on every webpage — they will rarely find one that inspires them to find out more. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find one you’d rather not see… at all.
Patrick Hopf has some guesses as to why that is, and first and foremost insists that the internet has irreparably changed consumers, and therefore, advertisers need to change the way they reach out to them. To combat these changes, Hopf has developed a program through his advertising technology company SourceKnowledge, called the Data Driven Marketing Certification Program.
He argues that in a world where ads are everywhere, especially online, consumers have grown too picky to ever take anything in. The Data Driven Marketing Certification Program will teach marketing professionals how to show their audience the ads they’ll connect with, and then, how to develop those ads.
“I’ve been in this industry for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of how digital marketing has evolved over almost 15 years. In the early days, it was basically banners and homepage sponsorships,” said Hopf, who co-founded SourceKnowledge in 2009. Before that, he served as an executive Vice President with one of the 90’s first search engines, Mamma.com. Mamma.com was one of the first pay-per-click distribution advertising platforms, and while obscure, is still around today.
The certification program will be part of the new SourceKnowledge institute, a self-serve e-learning program for marketing professionals. This program, which launched on September 13th, 2016, addresses a problem that marketers around the world are currently struggling with.
Several reports indicate that users are becoming less and less tolerant of online advertising. Some of these include reports from Statista that claim 198 million people around the world employ an ad blocker when going on line as of June 2015. In addition, a report released recently by PageFair calculated the rates of mobile ad blocking alone and found that 48 percent of the United States, 35 percent of Europe and 41 percent of people around the world use a mobile ad blocker.
Advertising is an oversaturated market which has become, as Hopf puts it, “too intrusive.” Consumers can’t absorb everything, so in return they simply block it all out. For a long time after the development of the internet, all marketing professionals could do was get their brand on as many links as possible and in front of the eyes of as many consumers who were willing to look.
Data analytics and consumer tracking tools have changed all of that. While digital marketing could be compared to dumping a bucket of water into a garden a few years back, data marketing more closely resembles watering each flower individually depending on how much water they need and when they need it.
In other words, the tools available to digital advertisers today allow them to track their audience, determine which demographic they’re selling to and target their advertisements accordingly. This way, consumers don’t have to tolerate anything they’re not interested in. Furthermore, aggressive advertising on web pages, which is a well known way to turn off a user to a website entirely.
Corporations are large as Google seem to be struggling with this, as the company recently launched the Coalition for Better Ads along with several other groups. While Google is often touted for its many endeavours in multiple branches of the wireless enterprising community, the company actually makes the majority of its money from advertising. It’s really no surprise that Google would want to persuade its users to turn off their ad blockers.
Adblocking has reached a point where corporations are losing significant amounts of revenue on ads that, due to several tools for ad blocking, many users never get to see. In a report entitled, “The Cost of AdBlocking,” the authors estimated that the total amount of ad revenue lost around the world to be $21.8 billion by 2015. Furthermore, the costs of corporations to counteract the effects of ad blocking will almost doubled those losses at $41.4 billion by 2016.
Corporations that rely on advertising to get their message to consumers no longer have an option. With the widespread disenchantment with ads, companies have been forced to use mechanisms like social media and targeted video campaigns to speak to their customers.
“If you’re talking about being a company that’s leveraging data people don’t want to click on ads anymore. If you’re a company that is vested in e-commerce and now you’re looking for these type of results, you have to be very educated and very proficient about how you approach an audience,” Hopf argued.
That’s where SourceKnowledge’s Digital Marketing Certification Program comes in. Last week, SourceKnowledge became the first company in Canada to offer a free digital marketing course that focuses on identifying your audience, and then, feeding them content they actually want to see.
Consumers are truly the veterans of new media. They’ve seen it all, they’ve done it all and yes, they’ve ignored it all. Data marketing is just one of the many ways companies are beginning to leverage data in exchange for revenue. However, marketers may be better equipped to go up against an ever-more-savvy crop of consumers with an arsenal of targeted marketing tools that equip them to get their audience’s attention, and hopefully, keep it.