Why I won’t see your ad.

I am a consumer and I am looking for a blanket. You might even think I am your target or a key demographic. But I have a secret that I’m keeping from you. I have learned to tune out your ads. It’s a kind of willful blindness. I read blogs and interesting stuff and nearly sub consciously, auto-tune out anything I don’t want to see.

This might sound like career suicide coming from someone who has spent the past 15 years in marketing, advertising and design, but it’s true.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet. Because I will go to great lengths to seek out your product if it meets a need or adds value to my life. But I don’t want to see your ad if I am not interested in your product. And I’m not interested in your product if doesn’t mean something to me!

Did you catch that? I said, “If I am not interested in your product.” So you do have a door in, it’s just not advertising alone.

Let me give you the secret up front so you don’t have to read the rest of this article. It’s all about me. No matter what your product or service, I have to be able to see how your product is going to add value to me, or I don’t care.

There are multiple ways to engage me with your brand, and none of them are “advertising”.

It starts with customer service. The most effective way to make sure I care about your business is to make sure your business cares about me. Consider me, your customer, first. Do all your customer touch-points create a compelling narrative about your brand? Even better. Let me, the customer, be an author of your brand’s story!

What are “brand-touch-points”, you ask? A: Any exposure I have to your brand becomes an opportunity to create a relationship with me, the customer; this is a brand-touch-point. From customer service to brick and mortar to the physical environs and from digital collateral to your product and product support. If I, the customer, can see it, touch it, taste it, it’s an opportunity for you to deliver a lasting impression of your brand.

Oh and then there is digital! I’m not going to talk about search or display campaigns triggered by search traffic, because I am speaking to you now as a wary consumer bombarded by media blight. It’s expected that you will be where its easy to find you, where I expect to find you. So, if you aren’t on search it is a not a problem, as long as you don’t mind me imagining what at a softer, warmer blanket will mean to me and how it will find me like I’m the only guy out there.

My advice to you as a brand from, me as a consumer, don’t worry too much about your ad. It’s just one small part of a much bigger customer engagement. Engage me in the real world and I will stay engaged in the digital world.

Jeremy Bristol is a wary consumer and Director of Customer Experience at Neu Citizen.

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