Disturbing Marketing Trends
I just read an interesting article by Dillon Baker published in The Content Strategist. It’s titled 13 Stats That Should Terrify CMOs . These trends should not only terrify CMOs, but also CEOs, CFOs and CSOs. In fact, anyone with a “C” as the first letter of their title should be concerned. You can read Baker’s post to see all of the disturbing marketing statistics, but I would like to comment on three that were particular red flags to me.
Standard Banner Ad Click Through Rates have Dropped to 0.12
As you can see from the chart below, banner ad click through rates (CTR) have been dropping precipitously over the past decade. Like all advertising media, too much of a good thing is not such a good thing. We saw the same thing happen when average response rates of direct mail dropped from 1-2 percent to .5 percent or less and email response rates are a small fraction of what they were 10-15 years ago. The only good news for banner ad users is that rich banner ads (basically anything with interactivity, animation, and/or video elements) have a 0.44 percent CTR, which is 267 percent higher than the standard banner. However, this number will definitely trend downward as more companies convert to rich formats.
Ad Blocking Grew by 41 Percent in Past 12 Months
This marketing trend is possibly more disturbing than the first because, as Baker notes, it indicates that users are not happy with online advertising and are willing to take steps to avoid it. In other words, the people you are most trying to reach may be doing everything they can to keep you away from them. It’s just like the problem faced by telemarketers – a dwindling number of prospects answering their phones – with the most lucrative prospects using blocking technology.
Only 12 Percent of Marketers Believe They Have “High-Performance” Content Marketing Engines
We’ve been talking about content marketing for the past decade, in some cases longer. And smart marketers realized the power of sales support collateral for decades before that – the Sears Catalog was founded in 1893. Yet, only 12 percent of us claim to be doing a good job in this area. Ad performance is dwindling, our best consumers are hiding, and when we do get in front of them, we don’t offer the right content at the right point in the sales cycle. You may not be able to control the first two disturbing trends, but you can certainly control this one.
I’ve been involved with marketing for my entire career and have succeeded through all the technology and media transitions largely because I try to stay on the leading edge of what works, and I do more of the good stuff. Equally important is that I watch closely what isn’t working, and do less of the bad stuff. Sounds simple, but I am always amazed by how many myths and misconceptions exist about our profession – and how committed some people are to sticking to “what has always worked for us” long past the time it has stopped working. It’s better to embrace the way things are – instead of the way you wish they are – and take advantage of the prevailing marketing trends.