As Mad Men continues to grace our screens, it seems ironic that we’re here to declare the decline of traditional advertising. Not even Don Draper could have predicted the effect that Internet access would have on attention spans, our ability to absorb advertising messages, and our growing need for personalization.
Customers no longer want to be talked at; they want to be talked with about topics that are interesting to them. In other words, to really connect with the modern consumer, you need to create relevant content that tells a story.
Although the web has made content marketing more relevant than ever, it’s been around longer than you think. When early humans painted chalk animals, they were creating content. When they chose to create those paintings in caves, they did so to reach the maximum number of other cavemen. In other words, they created informative content and placed it where it was most likely to have the most reach.
As marketers, we strive to achieve the same goals today. Less people are exposed to magazine, newspaper and television advertising while Internet advertising has continued to evolve. From banner ads to text ads to video and now image advertising, the Internet appears to be a combination of all traditional advertising mediums spun into one. Unlike those traditional advertising sources, which have page limits and time limits, the Internet has more pages than anyone can count. Can anyone ever find the end of the Internet?
As a result, marketers can’t simply post display ads on a highly trafficked page and wait for the results. You need to be proactive in engaging consumers, getting them to share your content with their networks. Word-of-mouth is a far more powerful motivation to try a new product than any display ad could be.
Driving word-of-mouth requires you to provide information, insight, images, and entertainment to the customer. You can’t just be selling products and services. You have to be building a story around your brand; one that makes you look like an expert in your field.
As we know, the great Mad Men of the 60’s specialized in magazine & television advertising while today’s Mad Men specialize in blogs, word-of-mouth, and online advertising.
The bottom line is advertising has always been about telling a story!
Even Don Draper can’t argue with that.