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Trust, quality of attention and brands

  • Date:

    05 April 2019

Trust, quality of attention and brands

“It’s almost as if we’re using the new toys enthusiastically, but not necessarily in the right way”, says Bob Wootton, founder and owner of Decontruction, a boutique advisory and consulting business 

Some say we’ve never had it better. More choice, more channels, better access, even self-serve ad creation and media buying in some.

But others are concerned that despite this, favour for and trust in advertising is in steady decline.

It’s almost as if we’re using the new toys enthusiastically, but not necessarily in the right way.

Perhaps in part that’s because we’ve been too swift to welcome the newcomers, targeted channels which can protest and quantify their effect, but all too often by attributing them to the last click.

Unpicking the customer journey through all its stages so we can influence it at each has always been challenging, and still is.

True, we can compare what we spent with what we made in the short term, so we know sooner and better than ever if it worked, at least superficially. But we still have much less idea of how.

Our industry behaviours follow this.Despite being able to cap the number of times we reach a potential customer, much of this close targeting either comes across as:

  • creepy (when a customer starts to get lots of ad messages about something that we and our tech has imputed they might be interested in)
  • or plain irritating (when we and our tech get it wrong or don’t constrain frequency or when they have already made a purchase, even when it’s in the same online channel as the media exist).

Along with unfortunate narratives about fake news, little wonder that we have issues around favour and trust.

In truth, we need much more and better understanding of attention to our messages in all its forms.  Especially when you consider the obvious – that different media reach and involve people in different ways.

There’s no better example of this than Magazines. Observation, intuition and successive studies have shown magazines are very much invited and welcomed into people’s lives.

Reading them is highly personal, often solitary, almost private ‘me time’ and is consequently sometimes quite concentrated and prolonged.  It’s even positive for wellbeing.  In short, a supremelypowerful and captive moment in which to influence and persuade.

Yet despite this, we lack sufficient hard data on the quality of this attention and emotional connection and how the audience’s receptivity converts into attention to advertising messages to drive these insights home commercially often enough.