They Hate Your Ads! Creating Marketing Communications That Resonate

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AJ Agrawal recently wrote an article for Forbes titled “Inbound Marketing: How To Advertise To People Who Hate Ads.” Agrawal correctly notes that successful marketing “all comes down to one principle. People don’t like to be sold to.” What do they want? They want to be helped to by. “In other words, you are a shopping assistant not a greasy car salesperson,” says Agrawal.

Agrawal offers three strategies for marketers to get their message across to those who hate ads.

“Review Your Targeting”

Agrawal believes there are some people whose pure hostility toward being advertised to puts them largely beyond the reach of marketers. “There are people who will always hate ads,” he says. “There’s nothing you can do about this. They have no tolerance to ads and nothing you do will make them pay any attention. It represents an extreme minority and you shouldn’t waste your time on these people.”

At the same time, you can target your audience in such a way that you are maximizing the impact and therefore the efficiency of your message. He says, “you can review your targeting to ensure that you are only reaching people who are going to be interested in what you’re selling.” For example, you can monitor some online statistics such as your click-through rate. If you aren’t getting many clicks on your links, it suggests you’re not targeting the right people.

“Give Your Target Audience What They Want”

Even those who absolutely hate ads probably need or want to buy something from time to time. And this is what you need to be giving them. As Agrawal says, “Don’t advertise what you want to sell them. Advertise what they want to buy.”

“Don’t Be Intrusive”

Even those of us who aren’t necessarily averse to advertisements can get turned off very easily by ads that we see as overly intrusive. Agrawal writes, “Ads can be annoying, and that’s due to the way they’re delivered. Banner ads were forced out of the industry for this reason. The advertisers of today seemingly still haven’t learned. There are multiple ways in which ads are made to annoy users, and this is why they switch off.”

Most people wouldn’t say they enjoy ads. However, there is a segment of every market that is simply hostile to the very idea of ads. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be reached. It just means you need to be a bit more thoughtful.

How could thinking more strategically about how your audience views your advertising messages help you better connect with them—and compel them to some desired action?


Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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