When is Advertising too Much?

When Ads get too Intrusive and Obnoxious

Marketing and advertising exist as a professions because someone has to promote the right products and services to the right people. When done right,  marketing/advertising can bring the right amount of awareness to businesses and events both large and small. But when I hear about players in the NBA selling ad space on their jerseys and Sony Entertainment creating a 90-minute advertisement for theatres, it does make me ask an important question. “When is it enough?”

According to the latest 2o18 polls, people are starting to get burnt out on the insanity of advertising. Out of a group census on Hubspot, 87% of

people say there are more ads than two years ago. What’s more this frustration is killing the reputation of businesses as well as marketers and advertisers.  72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad and 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.

So, if the way we are advertising now is hurting us and our clients more than it is helping, what changes can we make to reduce ad fatigue to our audiences?

The short answer is to just change our advertising habits.

The Problem with Intrusive Advertisement

There is more than meets the eye with ad complaints if you dig a little deeper into the issue. When researching how people felt about ads, I came across this interesting statistic.  “77% of consumers agree that they would prefer to ad filter than completely ad block. ” This statistic speaks a lot more about the reality of their frustration more than I realized.  People are fine with the idea of advertising. They have accepted it as a part of their daily lives.  Their problem isn’t with advertising in general. Their problem is with the intrusive nature of online advertising.

And it makes perfect sense.

If you were minding your own business,  sitting in a doctor’s office the last thing you would want to deal with is a door to door salesman bursting into the room and interrupting the quiet atmosphere with a loud pitch. It is obnoxious, annoying, and counterproductive to the person trying to sell their product in the first place.  That is the reason that businesses post signs all over the place that state “no solicitation”.

So, if interrupting someone at an inconvenient time is considered a sales faux pas, then why don’t we expect the same behavior from online advertising?

Would you be willing to listen to someone weigh in on a conversation if they were interrupting with no idea of what you were talking about?  Of course not. You would be annoyed, confused, and a little angry that you were interrupted.  That is the feeling that customers are getting with pop-ups and autoplaying videos.

Now that we know where the problem lies, what can we do to fix it?

Advertisements that Work

Vieodesign said it best, “Successful digital ads don’t overtly disrupt the consumer’s browsing experience in an intrusive or annoying way. They make sense in the content and location where they’re placed, look professional, are easy to understand and use. They are well targeted to the consumer, so they’re relevant and speak the consumer’s language. They’re clear about what’s being offered, so people don’t feel tricked.”

We have to be honest about the product and service we are selling, our intentions as advertisers, and we have to be relevant to the people we are adverting to.

Customers need to feel like they have a choice in what they are consuming, and they need to feel at ease with what we are offering as well as how we are offering it.

 

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By |2018-05-19T22:40:35+00:00May 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on When is Advertising too Much?

Marketing Case Study- Hobby Lobby

Is Politics in Business a Good or Bad Thing?

2012 was a big year for America when it came to answering and reanswering important questions. Are corporate entities people? If corporations are people, do they have a voice? Can a for-profit corporation use their money to exercise their first amendment rights and if so, do the rights of a company outweigh the rights of the employees working for the company? When a corporation makes an openly public stance on religion or politics, does it hurt or help their revenue?

Today, 4 years after the 2014 hearing of Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores,  I am going to examine this through the lens of a marketer.

 

Hobby Lobby

 

hobby lobbyHobby Lobby is an arts and crafts store chain that was founded in Oklahoma City, in 1972. Since then, the business has grown since then to 600 stores nationwide as of April 2015.

It was founded by David Green, who started the company on a $600 loan. Mr. Green is a devout Evangelical Christian who has stated to have come from a family of preachers and has donated much of his earnings to a portfolio of evangelical ministries since at least 2010.  Mr. Green has not been shy about stating that his company had been founded on Christian values and makes a habit of incorporating it into his business policies over the years, such as giving employees mandatory Sundays off for time to worship and spend with family members.

 

Can a For-Profit Company Exercise Religious Belief?

In 2014, political activists from both liberal and conservative lines and the people that were caught in between all the madness watched as Hobby Lobby make its way to the Supreme Court for a ruling. The conflict had come as a byproduct of the Affordable Care Act, that required health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives or pay a government fine. The owner of Hobby Lobby stated that providing this was a violation of his, and by extension, his company’s religious liberties and took it to court.  After several arguments over multiple court cases, a decision was finally made.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of  Hobby Lobby from a  5-4 Yes to No vote. A company can be exempt from having to pay for certain medical treatments based on religious exemption. But the ruling is a lot more nuanced than most people realize.

It does back up the notion that for-profit corporations are persons, that can set policies based on religious exemption. However, there are a few basic requirements that need to be met for that exemption to apply.  For starters, the company needs to be ‘closely’ held by 5 or fewer people. Whats more, this small group of people needs to at least own 50% of the business assets before it can claim any religious exemption.

 

How does this Affect their Business?

profit

 

With the ruling made, there was only one loose end to this story. Did this legal battle hurt their business? After all, Hobby Lobby sparked quite the spirited political debate over its unwavering stance on its religious policies. There were even articles stating that it was a bad marketing decision. But the truth is, it didn’t cause any negative impact on the company, whatsoever.

Hobby Lobby’s annual revenue in 2011 was 2.28 billion dollars. 5 years later, their revenue has almost doubled at 4.3 Billion dollars.  And it is important to note that this is a craft store that has little online activity and does not even have a barcode system for their stores. They also barely spend any money on marketing materials or promotions compared to other chain business stores on that scale.  So, why didn’t they lose any business after all the insanity over this political issue?

 

Reasons Why They are Thriving

 

  • They had free promotion from the court case

Not many store chains can say that they took part in American History through a Supreme Court case. Whether you agree with them or not, they were the talk of news stations for over two years. And they didn’t even have to buy that sort of publicity. No other craft store chain could say that. It was a great marketing tactic on their part, intentional or not.

  • The Greens never made their belief a private part of their identity

This was a business that openly declared that they took Sundays off for religious observance. They also openly donated money to various Christian charities. Of course, they were going to take a conservative political stance on something like health insurance. To expect otherwise would be incredibly ridiculous. They knew where they stood and so did their customers.

In order to lose a customer base,  a business would have to either subvert public expectations or just stop self-promoting. So, it would make sense that they didn’t get any damage from the fallout.

 

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By |2018-05-11T21:11:47+00:00May 11th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Marketing Case Study- Hobby Lobby