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Let Me Get this Off My Chest

Have you ever read an article that just made you mad?  Maybe this blog has made you mad from time to time. Well, I had one of those experiences reading an article about consumer apathy and how it is changing healthcare advertising.

The writer said that “consumer apathy is something rarely talked about by advertising agencies” because it is a “tough subject.” No. We talk about it all the time.  We call it relevancy.

It is the reason advertising agencies spend so much time on brand platforms, audience segmentation, audience research, analytics and targeting.

The writer then made a correlation mistake, saying that ad fatigue and the propensity to ignore advertisements occurs when “they aren’t done well.” No again. Ad fatigue happens with too much frequency, and the tendency to ignore ads has to do with the message disconnect. I’m not going to pay attention to ads that do not pertain to me. When I was in the new car mood, I was watching, clicking and researching about cars. Now that I have my new car, I’m no longer paying attention to the car ads. That is relevancy.  The writer also implied that “enjoying” ads had something to do with effectiveness.  The causation research is just not there. Again, I may not enjoy car ads, but they are relevant to me when I’m in the market for cars. The word “sale” would get my attention as well, but I don’t really enjoy car sale ads.  I’d like to see causation research on this topic, not research on which ads people “enjoy.”

Marketing is becoming more and more of a science. Avoidance of ads and sales is nothing new. That’s why messaging is so critical. And, of course, solid research, testing and analytics. 

Okay, I’m no longer mad. I’m sorry you had to endure the rant.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.