Mary Meeker Series: How Can You Avoid Ad Saturation?
This post is Part 3 in our ongoing exploration of the key takeaways from the 2019 Mary Meeker Report.
Most consumers nowadays can be considered “digital natives.” With that title comes a learned understanding of how the internet works and how it impacts our lives. It also brings a significant level of ad saturation and constant exposure to digital marketing.
How does someone learn to be a digital native, though?
Answer: spend a lot of time online.
Breaking Down Internet Uptime
The period from 2017 to 2018 saw internet time rise by 7 percent. On average, consumers spend 6.3 hours online.
Why is that increase notable? Because as consumers spend more time online, they increase their exposure to advertisements. Marketers nowadays must create ads that attract a desensitized audience that overlooks and is naturally suspicious of the content marketers share.
The Advertising Numbers
Ad saturation is more prevalent than many marketers think, especially given the recent increase in internet time.
On average, 70 percent of consumers report seeing the same ad multiple times a day. While this is great for brand exposure, it’s not so great for sales promotion; 55 percent of users report feeling apathetic about any and all ads that they’re exposed to over the course of a day.
Breaking the Apathy
Those statistics grow a little more concerning when partnered with another of Mary Meeker’s online trends. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for advertising campaigns to target an audience directly. Even so, advertising budgets across all industries are increasing.
How can we make the most out of ad spend in an era of complex ad saturation?
- Find the right message: You shouldn’t produce generic advertisements. There needs to be a message at your work’s core. Do you want more people to know about your brand? Do you want to solve a particular problem? Let your audience know.
- Identify an audience early: You need to know whom you’re targeting before you create an advertisement. Millennial audiences, for example, prefer advertisements that touch upon social issues, whereas baby boomers like straightforward messages.
- Emphasize content value: Your content also needs to carry meaning. You’re not a school teacher, but your audience should be able to take information away from your ad. Even if you use your ads to highlight your company’s sense of humor, you should imbue your work with information that your consumers can use to learn more about your products.
- Tell a story: Millennial audiences, in particular, don’t connect with broad advertisements. They want to be told a story. Think Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercials. These advertisements tell the story of a sweet dog trying to find his way home. As he does, he travels past Budweiser symbols until connecting with the iconic six-horse carriage. That pathos and storytelling wins over the hearts of viewers and makes them associate Budweiser, an alcoholic beverage, with something as charming as a lost puppy. That feeling is what drives the company’s sales after its ads’ debuts.
- Follow up on your advertisements: Don’t fall back on any promises you make in your advertisements, be they explicit or implied. Consumers flock to reliable and happy businesses. If you give them the picture of yourself you revealed in your ad, you’ll retain their business for a long time.
If you want to stand out in an online environment muddied with ad-saturation, your advertisements need to break the mold.
Image attribution: pathdoc – stock.adobe.com