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Engage audience through digital marketing

People have long faced nuisances from marketers and advertisers in their lives: telemarketing calls during dinner, obnoxious commercials interrupting TV shows, or piles of mailers that usually go straight into the recycling bin. These types of marketing, which often push products and services onto unwilling consumers, have been joined by a new breed of ads that exist solely in the digital marketplace—pop up ads, distracting banner ads, or the dreaded auto-playing video ad.

As buyer behaviour changes, marketers need to get smart about how their digital marketing connects with potential customers, and on how to supplement their target’s online experience, instead of interrupting it.

Inbound marketers have long known that power has shifted to consumers. The same is becoming true of ads as well. Consumers today are taking charge of their experience and avoiding interruptive advertising. They are unsubscribing from emails, skipping commercials, ignoring phone calls and direct mail, closing webpages, and, most troubling to the ad industry, blocking online pop-up ads.

In a recent study by hubspot, 96% of consumers from all industries indicated to immediately unsubscribe from receiving emails. The top reason was the sheer volume of emails being they were receiving from a company. A worrying 52% also indicated they didn’t sign up for emails to begin with. With CAN-SPAM laws long in effect, it’s more likely that the respondents forgot that they signed up or didn’t realise they were going to receive emails when they submitted personal information to a website. In the same trend, 80% consumers had left a website because of an autoplaying ad or a pop up. So not only does the marketer’s paid advertisement not connect with a consumer, the web host also loses a visitor. Coupled with the generally negative reaction consumers have for these types of interruptive online ads, it really seems like a lose-lose option to pursue.


People are tired of digital marketing, mainly because ads being perceived as annoying and intrusive.

About the author

Yves Delongie, founder Xantopia

Yves loves to write about his passion in developing and leading start-up/scale-up businesses towards sustainable growth.

For many businesses, the solution is simple: inbound marketing. But inbound marketing is a long-term play, and building a loyal audience and a constant flow of organic traffic isn’t an easy task.

The key to nurturing a more engaged audience is to augment your inbound strategy with positive, valuable information that is personally meaningful to the individual prospect, in his current state of mind and related to his current context, place and time. The way for marketers to start providing a more positive experience for the receivers, are:

  • Add contextual value to ads. When keeping track of contextual information from registrars, ads can be tailored to mention relevant content. E.g. When you sell 4 types of razors, and a prospect was registered—left his email—on the page of type ‘B’, you most often will show him ads about razor ‘B’…
  • Focus on native advertising. Social platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter…), target contextual emails and adwords all have the advantage of being non/little-disruptive to the receiver’s handling. The prospect hopefully may interact with an ad, but might also simply decide to continue its journey on the platform without feeling interrupted.
  • Improve targeting. One of the biggest advantages of using digital advertising as opposed to offline is the targeting options available with most of the native platforms. The better the targeting, the more likely the receiver won’t be annoyed by something he sees.

It’s totally possible for digital advertising to align with an inbound marketing strategy. In fact, the two should work alongside each other really effectively to ensure a best possible experience for a target audience, whilst improving business’ bottom line.

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