direct advertising is dying

Is Direct Advertising Dead? Is it time to move on?

There is a good reason that all the experts are raving about things like content marketing, native advertising, email marketing, and building relationships. The fact is that as marketers, we’ve “killed old-fashioned direct advertising for good”. The average person today is bombarded with thousands of ads every day.

People have literally become so numb to ads, they just tune them out. The competition for attention is so fierce that you stand little chance of attracting attention.

Your customers automatically ignore most ads

Notice we said “most ads”. There are two types of advertising that people today still pay attention to:

  • Superbly ingenious and super-creative advertising
  • Ads coming from a brand that they have a relationship with

Let’s just say that the first option is out of most people’s reach. Unless you have Coca Cola’s advertising budget, you’re unlikely to achieve it. So let’s talk about the second option and what it means.

direct advertising overwhelms

Consider the following. When you walk by a random billboard and it tells you to buy a product, you’re likely to ignore it. This is direct advertising.

When an expert that you like and trust makes positive comments about a product, you’re likely to consider it. If this person was actually sponsored to make that recommendation, then this constitutes a form of indirect marketing.

Indirect Marketing comes in many different forms

Native Advertising

This is probably the oldest form of indirect advertising. You can find examples going back to the 18th century. One of the nicknames for this type is familiar to many people. You might have heard about “advertorials”. This is a good (albeit simplified) way to describe native advertising.

It is simply where an advertising campaign is shaped in the form of editorial content. To the reader, it is indistinguishable from that publication’s typical content. It has the same “look & feel”. Except it is written by an advertiser.

The primary idea is that it still needs to provide value like an editorial piece would. Yes, the advertiser wants to promote something. But they only do it through giving valuable content. In that sense native advertising is similar to content marketing.

Branded Content

If you’ve ever seen the line “sponsored content”, then you know what this is about. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to distinguish native ads and branded content.

Content Marketing

At first glance, it might seem like content marketing has overlap with the previous two. However, there is a clear demarcation. It is about who owns the medium that publishes the content.

If you run your own company blog and you invest in producing valuable content for future and existing customers – this is content marketing. Native and branded refer to creating content that appears in publications and media owned by others.

Search Marketing

Any strategy that focuses on getting more visitors from the search engines is a “search marketing strategy”. This isn’t separate from content marketing. In fact, there’s a big overlap between the two. Almost all search marketing strategies involve the use of content.

At the same time, anyone involved with doing content marketing will tend to consider the SEM implications of any content that they publish.

social media vs seo vs content marketing

Social Media Marketing

This is in some ways similar to content marketing. It also involves producing content of value to potential and current customers. The main defining feature is that it gets done through social media channels. Sometimes the exact same content may be part of your content marketing and your social media marketing. These two are overlapping, not exclusive strategies.

Embedded Marketing

Most people are familiar with embedded marketing. The most popular example is when you see product placement in a new Hollywood movie. By definition, it is supposed to be “subtle”.

Perhaps your favorite TV show or music video has an “obvious” product placement. In such a case the marketer has failed at achieving “embedded marketing”. Though in some cases it may be done on purpose to get people talking about the “obvious product placement”.

Referral Marketing

Most referrals in business happen organically. That is, some of your customers love your stuff and just happen to recommend you. On the other hand, there are ways to encourage this process. You can be methodical about increasing the number of referrals. When you do this, you are engaging in “referral marketing”.

Affiliate Marketing

The same phrase refers to two sides of the same coin. If you’re promoting someone’s products for a commission, you are doing “affiliate marketing” as an affiliate. If you have an affiliate program to recruit affiliates to promote your products – you’re also “engaging in affiliate marketing”.

affiliate marketing works well with drip marketing

Drip Marketing

In some ways, drip marketing is very similar to content marketing. You produce content that your future customers would love. And you give it to them for free. The difference is in the delivery method.

Whereas content marketing “attracts visitors”, drip marketing communicates to them directly. In “content marketing” people need to discover your company blog or web-site first and then choose to continue consumption.

Typically they will first discover just one of your articles. This might happen because a friend sent them a link, they found it through a google search or one of many other ways. To consume more of your stuff they have to decide to keep exploring your blog and find other articles. They decide which is the next piece of content and when to go looking for it.

If you run a blog full of great advice on a topic, someone can just come in and binge on all your free stuff in a single day. If you choose to send the same type of content in intervals over email – you are doing “drip marketing”.

In drip marketing, you decide the schedule. This typically involves email marketing automation. You decide which type of content they receive at what point in time. You can accomplish this with traditional sequencing. Or you can get even fancier and use the latest forms of email automation.

All of this allows you to weave a narrative. It allows you to create a storyline. You can take the reader through a journey. A journey full of giving them (dripping) value on them, where the end conclusion is a subtle nudge towards your product or service. Purchasing your stuff becomes the resolution to the story.

The term “drip marketing” has in some ways become synonymous with “email marketing”. You can use other channels to do “drip marketing”. But email marketing is still king in this field. This is because of the low cost and great automation features provided by good ESPs.

Each one of these is killing direct advertising

While this might sound like a hyped-up statement, it is not. Research consistently shows us that relationship-based advertising destroys traditional advertising. One study found that branded content was 24% more effective at increasing purchase intent.

In another report by BI intelligence, we see even better evidence for the coming death of direct advertising. Whereas advertisers in 2013 only spent $4.7 billion on native, in 2017 it’s expected to be $7.9 billion. But get this, in 2018 they are projecting this will rise to $21 billion! No, that is not a typo.

Similar trends can be seen in all of these other alternatives. For example in 2012 only 60% of corporations used content marketing. By 2013 this number jumped to 93%.

The reasons for this trend are clear. Traditional advertising overwhelms people and creates high levels of skepticism and distrust. People always prefer buying from someone they trust. And they trust those with whom they have a relationship.

These trends will only keep accelerating. Everyone is abandoning traditional advertising and for a good reason. It no longer works. When you read about how much companies are increasing their efforts and investments into relationship-based strategies – it isn’t because of larger marketing budgets.

This is effort and money that is being diverted away from traditional advertising. It is being redirected to these new forms of marketing for a good reason. They work.

What if there was a way to use ads in relationship-based marketing?

That’s where native advertising comes in. It is clear that traditional display ads are slowly dying, and native ads are taking over. When you switch to native advertising, you don’t have to give up on advertising completely. Not everyone has the time to build a relationship with their potential customers. Doing advertising is still the best way to get your first customers quickly.

But what if there was a way to borrow from someone else’s relationship capital? What if you could get the best of both worlds? The immediacy of advertising, combined with the benefits of trust in relationship-based drip marketing? And then, what if this method allowed you to use native ads whenever you wanted to?

drip email marketing ads

Introducing Admailr – Now you can get the best of both worlds. If you build an email list of committed fans, this will be the best long-term investment you ever make. And we do hope you take the time to build that list for your business. When you pitch to your email list, you will see the most outrageously high conversion rates anywhere. Nothing beats good email marketing.

But you don’t have to wait until you have your own list. What if you could just advertise on the list of someone who already has a legion of fans. These are people who trust anything this expert tells them. They eagerly await and open every latest issue of those newsletters.

If a native ad appears in that newsletter and points them to your content, magic happens. They are just as likely to devour it as if it were content by that newsletter author. The one that they trust and love getting newsletters from.

And that’s not all  – our system supports traditional display ads as well. If you still want to use some of your traditional ads and banners, you can do that too. You will still get a much better result having those display ads shown to a newsletter reader than if you continue putting them in front of random cold traffic.

How it WorksThe Killer FeaturesOur FAQ

At Admailr we’ve worked really hard to leverage the power of relationship-based marketing for advertisers. With AdMailr you can enjoy the same gratification you have in PPC advertising. You can set up your ads, targeting, budgeting and other preferences.

We do all the rest. Our system will make sure you get those amazing results that only a pre-existing relationship can provide. We choose the right newsletters to show your ads, and we choose the perfect placement inside of the newsletter.

Create your account right now – it’s free. Getting started is a breeze. There are no setup fees, minimum budgets or anything to allow you to procrastinate. Giving this a go is extremely low-risk. You can create a small campaign and test out this strategy today. Find out what it can do for you and your business.


8 thoughts on “Is Direct Advertising Dead? Is it time to move on?

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