Last Monday ADWEEK published the results of research it commissioned from Survata comparing how Gen Z and Millennials view advertising on Instagram and Snapchat. The goal was to help marketers determine where they should invest their ad dollars now and going forward."
When asked how they feel about the advertising they see, 69.3% of the Instagram audience said they hate it, don't notice it or are neutral about it. 65.4% of the Snapchat audience answered the same way. Of the total number of people surveyed, 31.5% (Instagram) and 32.5% (Snapchat) said they rarely noticed the ads at all.
When asked about specific ads, about two-thirds (Instagram) to three-quarters (Snapchat) of the audience couldn't recall the ads.
On the positive side, 9.2% (Instagram) and 10.2% (Snapchat) of those asked said they like or love the ads on these platforms.
The results, while pretty even, should frustrate marketers and their media brethren but instead they will nod and tell us these are the results they would expect. They will say they mirror those we've accepted for years in more traditional media and they will turn the conversation to a discussion of ROI. "Sure we miss 90% of the audience but converting just 1.8% is a break-even and we're hanging at 2.4% (example) so we're strong!"
This response is far easier than taking responsibility for addressing the unfulfilled opportunity of engaging a respectable portion of the other 90% and converting any of the other 97+%.
It's great that millions of people, especially these attractive younger audiences, flock to digital platforms every day because at least we know where they are. The problem is that, like every other media "channel" marketers use, advertising keeps proving it's a pretty ineffective way to reach and engage people of any age. So based on these most recent results, I ask the question:
"Why the hell are marketers still spending ad dollars on advertising?"
The reality is today, and I think will always be that:
People don't want advertising. They want help finding the right products and services - for them. They will respond to things that fuel their emotions and give them value, even if it's just better information on which to make their decisions.
Brand managers and agency people fret over the daily introduction of new platforms or advertising opportunities on existing platforms. They bust their tails to craft sales messages into whatever time and space they are given; with their clients still accepting that 90% of their efforts are wasted.
What if we committed all that time, energy and a healthy stack of the media money to deliver content that will engage the audience, content actually helps and entertains people? Brands could show customers and prospects that they have their best interests in mind. They could stir passions and deliver useful and transparent (read: honest) information. They can still describe why they build their products and/or bundle their services the way they do but they do it based on understanding people's dreams and fears, their wants and needs. We make helping them make the best decisions, for them, our primary goal
Forget being satisfied with an ROI that simply justifies your actions. Let's stop using all these new tools to do things the old way. It's a new world and the sky's the limit!
Imagine the skyrocketing career power of simply turning 2.4% into 24% but we won't stop there.
So what do you think? Please let me know.