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How to Cut Through the White Noise of the Digital Advertising Landscape

It’s about measuring twice and cutting once, it’s about aiming then firing, versus the all too common approach by many and most who have ruined it for the rest of us (or pissed in the soup- so to speak) by following the conventional propaganda of the ‘Big Three’ (Facebook, Amazon, Google – who account for over 64% of total digital advertising share worldwide) whose algorithms have continued to necessitate the ‘pay to play’ mantra with increasingly diminishing ROI and efficacy on digital advertising. Higher costs, higher quantity, lower yield… Make sense? Don’t blame them (or do) as it’s the foundational element of their business model on which they thrive. They aren’t going anywhere and certainly aren’t incentivized to change this sombering trend.

But consider this, the continued oversaturation of advertising has continued to drive down efficacy, resonance, and personalization as most brands and agencies will merely blast a barrage of empty messages (aka ‘pray and spray’) that prioritize quantity over quality, hoping to catch a few fish in a massive net. Or frame with another analogy of the lazy approach by most advertisers who are trying to hit a bullseye with a shotgun, and we all suffer some digital shrapnel in their wake, whether we like it or not.

Millennials are often accused of having shorter attention spans (true) and being beholden to our devices (also, true). However, I could argue these are altered behavioral norms largely impacted by these aforementioned trends. Upon closer inspection, these are expected residual effects of more digital white noise bombarding our attention every moment of every day, more than ever before in human history. Never before as the old adage rang more true that ‘we are drowning in information and yet starved for knowledge’.

The way our minds are wired, and proof that not our attention but our attentiveness suffers when we become overwhelmed by too much white noise, we shut down, no longer willing to let anything in. Therefore, we become habitually more wired to ignore all the ads being launched at us, as most won’t come close to connecting with our actual needs, wants, and desires. And thus, less efficiency (engagement rate) higher CPC (cost-per-click) and weaker ROAS (return on ad spend) across the broader digital advertising marketplace. And what will most marketers do? Allocate even MORE ad spend to the major platforms to try and hit arbitrary quotas and KPIs regardless of efficacy and efficiency. So the rich (see ‘Big Three’) get richer, and the already overwhelmed media landscape gets even noisier. It’s a well documented advertising epidemic unto itself.

 

So as humans how are we to absorb and focus on any one story, task, or piece of content. If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself overwhelmed or lost in a sea of information.

And as business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers, how can we expect to cut through this  white noise and share our story, the unique value of our product or service and expect anyone to hear it, let alone listen.

There is a better path forward. Much like the approach to mindfulness, being present in the moment to create space. We can apply a similar methodology to mindfulness in our approach to marketing. To create stillness amidst the noise enough to mindfully develop and deliver our message to the right audience with intention rather than a one size fits all mass media approach.

 

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