Stop 'Pushing' Ads On Buyers Create Content That 'Pulls' Traffic Through Search

We ignore thousands of ads every day, but consume 7 hours content. Stop relying on scale and targeting to sell with ads. This works roughly .2% to 2% of the time (actually 1.91% for search, and .35% for display, according to the most recent Google statistics). 

If you get one thing from tis blog, let it be this: respect that the Buyer’s Journey is buyer-driven, and create buyer-centric copy to engage buyers, rather than relying on exquisite and clever targeting. 

Marketers use ads so often because so many of them are not talented. It’s really a ‘shotgun’ approach, when you consider click-through rates.

But using scale create an ROI is kind of disgusting. It’s a antisocial- to point your ‘ad gun’ at the public, knowing how unlikely conversions are. We estimate that 99.5% of the time people ignore your ad (this is the weighted average for display and search). 

This means that 199 out of 200 times, your ad was interruptive, and for nobody’s gain. This happens to the average person thousands of times a day, and it’s unacceptable. 

We recommend companies and marketers create content that helps buyers learn and choose, during their ‘Research’ and ‘Consideration’ stages of the Buyer’s Journey. 

Something strange happens when otherwise normal people clock in at work and start their work day as professional ‘marketers’: they do stuff they hate having done to them. These include:

  1. Remarketing.
  2. Cross-platform ads (you searched on YouTube and now Facebook is selling the same thing to you).
  3. Pop-ups. 
  4. Distracting display ads.
  5. Drip email marketing campaigns.
  6. Ads that seemingly read their mind, and seem to know too much about them.

Consider your own purchasing process:

  • You have a problem.
  • You get online and look for solutions. You dodge and duck ads and brochures. You’re in the driver’s seat. You don’t need someone telling you what’s what.
  • You seek objective, helpful content to get information, to learn about your options and how they compare  on your terms, and in your timeframe.
  • At some point, you reduce your choices to a couple. Maybe then, 80% – 90% done with your Buyer Journey, you might look at sales copy from one vendor or another. 
  • If it’s an urgent pain-point you have – that 3% of the time – you click and buy from the best-targeted, first. But most of the time, that’s not the case.

Whether your Buyer Journey takes 5 minutes or 6 months, you’re only interested in ads, or brochures, for the last 10% of that journey. 

This is how 95% of shopping – whether B2B or B2C – happens. 

We’re not sure exactly why this concept is so hard for so many to grasp. We’re not saying you throw out targeting or funnel technologies. We’re saying you should sell in a way that respects the realities of how people shop. Ideally, you should keep the technology in your marketing stack, and couple it with an advancement in understanding. 

Then there’s fake content: 

  1. They’re discounts (which presume a purchase).
  2. They’re trials or freemiums that are effectively a ‘hook’ (an attempt to talk about themselves in another forum, like the free vacation stay if you listen to people pitch timeshares).
  3. They’re brochures. A content offer that’s not really content. It’s not unbiased and for your benefit. It’s sales copy. 

These are all phony ‘offers’, selfishness disguised as altruism. 

Actual offers are content that’s agnostic, objective, offered upfront; it has value whether a lead buys from you or not.

Most ‘marketing’ is following people around the Internet, interrupting them to talk about yourself, hoping to take their money later. 

The Relevancy Gap (Why You Should Shop The Way You Buy; Source:

Most ‘marketing’ is following people around the Internet, interrupting them to talk about yourself, hoping to take their money later.

Marketing is practiced incorrectly most of the time, and doesn’t take into account how people actually shop in the Internet era.

The take-home is nobody wants to be sold anything, anymore. They want to research, compare, and choose. They are looking for review sites, hashtags, references in social media, forums, studies, surveys.

They know biased sales copy is worthless, most of the time, as they are trying to gain objective information about their options. We often say companies wanting to sell their product, and buyers’ having a need that product might resolve, are not really intersecting interests. The buyer has a process, and wants to research, to gather information, consider and compare before choosing. Statistics show this

So, what of the ‘push’ marketing tactics – ads –  that get some sales? They work about 1/10th as well as content. 3x the price and 1/3 as effective.

Make content and help people. Stop with your ads. Stop with brochures and self-referential content and phony ‘offers’.

Stop confusing ‘content’ and ‘consent’ with ‘contingent’ offers (that depend on people buying from you or having to listen to you try to sell them, later).

Figure other people are just like you and like what you like; you hate ads. 

So stop foisting them on people.