53% of Consumers Call Marketing "B.S."

Posted by Amy Peveto on November 27, 2012

As consumers become better at ignoring and filtering out advertising, companies have to come up with better ways to get their message to their audience. However, some recent findings from Adobe indicate that advertising and marketing aren’t at the top of anyone’s list of favorites.

Marketing is B.S.

The State of Online Advertising was compiled in early October by Adobe and research firm Edelman Berland. 1,250 American adults (1,000 general population and 250 marketing decision makers) were interviewed, and the results are fascinating.

There’s lots to sink your teeth into, but here’s what sticks out:

  • 53% of respondents agreed that “most marketing is a bunch of b.s.”
  • 68% find online ads “annoying” and “distracting”
  • 30% of consumers said online advertising is not effective, while 16% of marketers say it is

Obviously there’s a disconnect between what companies thinks works and what actually does.

Hold your horses

It’s easy to view some of these results—especially how 45% of respondents consider traditional media to be the best for marketing—and be tempted to throw your digital marketing strategy out the window.

“But people think it’s annoying!” you may say. “They ignore it and turn on the television!”

People do not find advertising and marketing annoying; they find bad advertising and marketing annoying.

From B.S. to A+

Bad marketing is intrusive, repetitive, boring, and unfocused; good marketing is perfectly targeted and implemented. Making your way from the former to the latter means knowing your audience and marketing to them in ways they appreciate and that are helpful to them.

Developing buyer personas is crucial. Knowing your audience and their media consumption habits helps you create advertising that endears, rather than annoys, and encourages prospects to make a purchase.

45% of people may prefer television or newspaper ads, but your audience may be part of the 55% that doesn’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to know for sure?

More on personas

[Image: Norton Photographer]


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Submitted by Valarie Geckler on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 9:29am

I'd be interested in seeing a study to compare the participants actual behavior compared to self-reported behavior.

It speaks to your point: people don't like *bad* marketing. And good marketing is often subtle. Respondents *thought* that TV advertising was more effective than online advertising, but how many of them click on a paid search result listing every day without knowing it?

Submitted by Amy Peveto on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 9:40am

Totally agreed, Valarie. What's that saying? If you want to know what customers think, don't ask them. :)

I'd like to see that study too.