Consent Is King

Everyday marketers and advertisers face off an impossible challenge. It’s their daily business. And it goes something like this: How can we reach the consumer? You might think: “Hey, these kids are pros, they must know!” But the truth is way more complicated than that.

Depending on the study every consumer is bombarded with 3,000 to 20,000 visual/audio ad messages every day. Well let’s play it safe and zoom in on 5,000 messages a day. These are contained in roughly 362 individual ads. They are spread across all channels: TV spots, radio commercials, newspaper ads, flyers, billboards, e-mails, facebook and Google ads, Amazon recommendations, online banners and so on and on and on. About 86 of those ads reach your awareness. And with 12 you engage!1

That’s not an incredibly great result for advertising agencies — to be honest. They know. And they put their best brains to work to break free from the clutter. And so two main approaches come to play — alone or combined.

Approach #1: Turn to science. A whole army of researchers and scientists tackle the problem of your attention. They optimize typography, colors, logos, offers, ad placement and dozens and dozens of other parameters. They engage in qualitative and quantitative research, brain scanning, eye ball tracking, blood pressure measuring, A/B testing and in-depth interviews. And if a marketer happens to be lucky the ad he still recognizes the idea he once had afterwards.

Now we do not mean to judge mental here, after all the social graph is the basis of our own offering. Done right science can optimize a lot. Let’s jump straight to approach number #2. One of the heroes of the madmen age, Howard Luck Gossage, simply stated: “The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”2

At this point the strategy, concept, copywriting and art direction departments go into overdrive. And I fear at least in part it is because they didn’t really dig deep enough into Gossage’s book. We just need to be more creative than others. Be so creative, that the viewer wants to engage. Yes, so creative, has no choice but to. Many midnight sessions and weekenders owe their existence to this approach. Intuition und conviction are often more powerful than knowledge here. Like the research method it has its merits.

Let’s look at the result: people engage with 12 ads a day out of 362. And as luck has it, for most of the 12 they don’t develop any purchase intent. Let’s return to Howard Luck Gossage then. He refused to do any billboards and focused on magazines — remember this is the 1960s. The simple reason — he wanted to give viewers the ability to opt-out. And:

“When advertising talks about the audience, it doesn’t mean its audience, it means somebody else’s, gathered there to watch or read something.”

We got the lesson: Talk to right people at the right time. This brings us to another unlikely, outsider figure of marketing — Seth Godin. Seth Godin dubbed all of the above “interruption marketing”. It interrupts people’s lives and that is unpleasant. It is per se unwanted. Instead he proposed something different: “Permission marketing.” He defines it:

“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.”3

To Gossage’s willful opt-out of the consumer, he added the willing opt-in. And now we had the basis for an conversation between equals — marketer and consumer. But there were problems. The industry quickly adopted permission marketing with one-time-opt-in newsletters. And we all know how annoying they get: Yes, we all check the subscribe box once. After that for most part we sent those straight from inbox to waste bin. Godin by the way extensively warned about this.

What wysker does, and what makes it so valuable to advertisers is to combine all of the above. The wysker App uses the social graph and science to establish purchase intent. Hence wysker ensures advertisers and marketers talk to the right target group.

But they can’t talk at the consumer straight away. wysker users must opt-in each conversation. They hold the power over their data after all. Avoiding Godin’s waste-bin problem, encouraging marketers to use Gossage’s creativity and conversation. Hence creating the perfect target group: one who wants to listen and wants to buy.

This unique combination results in skyrocketing engagement as well as sales. The efficiency of advertising goes through the roof.

The principle behind it takes permission, consent and conversation to the next level. It is making them really work for advertisers and users alike and in full symmetry. We call the concept: consent 2.0 . And for us it is king.


1 Johnson, Sheree. “New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures.” SJ Insights, 29 Sept. 2014,

2 Gossage, Howard Luck, et al. Is There Any Hope for Advertising? University of Illinois Press, 1987.

3 Godin, Seth. Permission Marketing. Pocket Books, 2007.