The Pendulum Starts to Swing

Today we live in a world of digital advertising where we can get in front of just about anyone we want using some of the craziest data around. Things from what you bought at the grocery store, what sites you visited, your age, your income and your location. With this access to data, and with the ability to place ads almost anywhere we want to, we’re beginning to see sites become more like newspaper inserts than about presenting good, unique information. Take a look at any local TV station website or local newspaper website and you’ll see what I mean. The content you came to read is often buried under hundreds of ads.

I believe the pendulum of digital advertising is about to swing away from those types of experiences. One feature Apple mentioned in their recent developer’s conference is a feature called Content Blocking. Not many people are talking about it, but it’s one of the biggest features I can remember in the last 12 years being active in the digital community.

So what is Content Blocking? You may be familiar with AdBlocker or AdBlocker Plus. These are tools that you can add onto your browser that will block advertisements that annoy you when you reach certain websites. Content Blocker is sort of like those tools. While AdBlocker focuses solely on advertisements and blocking them from your experience, Content Blocker can go so far as to block almost anything that isn’t relevant, true, or good content from your experience.

By this I mean you can block links on a page, certain images on a page, basically everything except for the title of an article, or a paragraph of text.

Think about that. Think about living in a digital marketing world where you could no longer place advertisements in front of people. What would you do? How would you generate interest? How would you reach people that have never heard of you? The technology now exists for developers to build experiences and tools that block all forms of advertising, even the attempts from “sponsored content” – which is really just an ad disguised as an article.

I think the answer comes down to the philosophy we talk about here at Syrup. We call it Growth Factor. It’s a systematic approach to growing businesses, and it’s not reliant upon your ability to reach people with a digital ad. Its foundation is built on earning a prospect’s attention with valuable information or a valuable service, staying in touch with them along the buying process, doing what you said you would do, delighting them after the purchase, and leveraging technology where it makes sense, but never forgetting to be human.

There’s a strategy we have coined here at Syrup called the “Sugar Rush”. The Sugar Rush is a marketing strategy that is so focused on digital ad buying that they forget to put dedicated resources towards the actual experience of the customer past the purchase. It’s a race to see how fast can they move a prospect from ad to customer. What do you need with a sugar rush in order to not crash? You have to continue to eat the sugar. You have to continue to buy ads. That’s not scalable. What is scalable, and what is future proof, is doing what you said you would do, delighting your customers and asking them to become the voice for you in the market.

Don’t get fooled or sucked in by all the ways you can buy ads. There are great ways and right ways to do that, but those ways may not exist in 1-2 years. Your best chance of long-term success is going to be spent treating people like people. Give value in exchange for dollars, and be intentional across customers’ interactions with you.

Kraig Guffey