“The ad blocker is a godsend”

“We’ve entered an age where more and more standard products are becoming obsolete. Marketeers need to ask themselves: is my product even relevant these days? This is their challenge: how can you still really surprise individual customers?”

Being in touch with the customers

“People have become so individualistic that it’s becoming less and less effective to address them as a group. What you can do is get to know their individual wishes by talking to them. Social media are particularly useful for this. Not for broadcasting, but for listening. The Dutch airline KLM has made a good demonstration of how to do that. Other than that, what you need to do is measure, and measure, and measure some more.” 

Technology: problem or solution?

“With the use of technology, advertisers have literally overloaded customers with information. As a natural reaction, people have become more and more selective, starting at the level inside their brains. To many of them, the ad blocker is a godsend. Any offer will have to be so relevant that customers won’t even experience it as advertising. But to use technology to that end, the level of knowledge of many marketeers will need to be substantially improved first.”  

The line between cool and creepy

“That line is constantly being pushed further and further back by big names like Google and Facebook. Step by step, they’re making more and more personal information publicly available. But there are limits: never use anyone’s data against them, and take care that you never find out more about anyone than they know about themselves. Facebook and Google have already crossed that line, though. And sooner or later, that’s going to get them in trouble.”

Keeping up as a ‘digital immigrant’

“If they put in a good effort, they could successfully complete their digital integration course. Otherwise, they’ll have to surround themselves with people who do understand how things work. And not just that one young guy at the department, of course. Set up an advisory group consisting of young digital natives. Let them join the table at the board level. That would be incredibly useful.”

This interview was published in the SAN Book 2016

One response to ““The ad blocker is a godsend””

  1. I think with ad blockers we might have created a bigger problem. Since more and more people are using ad blockers, marketeers are turning to more and more ‘sponsored content’. So the advertising is blend in with the articles. Now it becomes harder to find out if the articles you are reading on your favourite website are branded or not.

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