Quit Pushing Me

We discuss engagement in this space fairly often. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m a believer in The Cluetrain Manifesto and that markets are conversations. Think about a conversation you’d have at a bar or a party. You would listen at least as much as you spoke and you probably wouldn’t keep tossing random lines at people, especially if those lines are only about you. Now let’s look at a piece of research.

According to The Future of Content: Rethinking Content Consumption, a national survey report, consumers want to discover digital content on their own and are skeptical of brands pushing online ads through interruptive channels. Rapt Media, recently surveyed an audience of more than 1,000 consumers to understand how content discovery is driving the content personalization trend.

Insights reveal consumers want personalized content experiences that are meaningful, helpful and valuable to their specific needs and interests. But equally important is their empowerment in discovering it on their own. The younger millennial generation is especially mistrusting of brands pushing interruptive online ads.

Key findings from the survey include:

● 95% take action to avoid seeing or receiving online ads
● 5% say ads influence their purchase decisions
● 57% of millennials block ad content because it is too pushy
● 43% say online ads are not personalized to their interests, but 62% say the content they discover on their own is personalized
● 61% say that even if content is customized, they still prefer to find it on their own
● 46% say content they find on their own influences their purchase decisions

I especially like this quote: “Programmatic push messaging is implicit personalization perceived by consumers as irrelevant and inauthentic.” Yep. The findings confirm that consumers have come to expect content personalization along with the opportunity to shape their own experience, so why are we spending time and resources on doing anything that delivers an experience other than that? Maybe we need to make our business behavior more like our cocktail party behavior (and who has ever pondered THAT before?)?

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