Promosapiens blog

Why buyers don’t like marketers?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

After politicians and cabinet officials, marketers are the most negative group of professionals in the world.
Here’s a graph as a proof, you can look for the term Ad Execs.

In a research that tracks how human opinion has changed over the last 20 years, 74% of social topics and opinions have not changed more than 10%.
Among the opinions that record a big change is the one that TV commercials are annoying. Here is a graph showing this change over time. As you can see, more and more people find TV commercials annoying.

There are several reasons why the marketing industry is showing a negative trend in the perception of end consumers…

01) Marketing has become a monoculture

If you look at data from a research called the Group Cohesion Score, which measures how much a group of people agree on the most important topics, you’ll notice that most like-minded people can be found in the marketing industry. Even more than in teaching or Armed forces where there are strict rules.

Why is that bad?
An industry that likes to brag about its creativity and diversity of ideas isn’t really that diverse. Remember the PokemonGo hysteria or the hysteria around SnapChat or the Clubhouse – when a trend emerges, all marketers immediately follow the trend even though everyone has learned that the key to a brand’s success is to be different.
They all hire the same influencers, copying creative solutions and media buying strategies. If the competition is on TikTok, so must we.

02) Creativity is underestimated

Today, everyone thinks they are creative. The most common arguments in cover letters are:

  • “My friends tell me I’m creative”
  • “I’ve always loved to write”

Copywriting has fallen very low in recent years. All sorts of copywriting “workshops” sell people the illusion that they will learn the “tricks” of creative writing. Creativity is not something that can be learned in a couple of seminars or even a couple of years of intensive writing.

Due to the “inflation” of copywriters and the popularity of social networks, more and more brands are publishing content just to publish something.
Even some agencies that like to call themselves “content agencies” write basic posts like “Our product is the right choice for everyone. How do you like to use our product? ” They optimize those posts for likes and force comments.
Brand managers are thrilled to see that their post had 1,000 likes and 100 comments (60 of which were written by a community manager), especially if they don’t know too much about digital.
No one asks customers if they find the content interesting, and the algorithm makes sure that it targets about those fifty people who like to write comments because they feel important and a thousand more who are clicking “like” everything they see.

03) The marketing industry applauds itself

All relevant marketing awards are given by a jury with no customers. All jury members are creatives from other agencies or brand managers.
Although brands live from customers, customers don’t have the right to vote.
What’s worse, the jury gives its ratings through an explicit survey; therefore, we count that the members of the jury will be objective on a conscious level even though we have thousands and thousands of scientific papers proving the opposite.

04) Ads for 50-year-olds are written by 20-year-olds

The average age of the head of the household is 52
The average age of a new car buyer is 56
The average age of Mac users is 54
The average age of a marketing creative is 28….
(h / t Jeff Eaker)

As you can see from the data, the marketing industry has become a kind of closed cult in which the belief of the majority is not questioned.
Why is this bad for us personally and for the industry in general? Here is a great example from the book “Rebel Ideas”:

Imagine that this square represents all available knowledge. We have David who is extremely smart, the circle represents everything David knows:

David works in a team with which he gets along very well, shares the same ideals, loves the same things. When we add David’s colleagues to the “knowledge square” we can see that at the team level David’s team is limited because everyone knows almost the same things:

If we want to stop the negative trend of bad perception of our industry, we must do what we most often advocate (at least declaratively) in marketing campaigns – accepting different opinions, healthy curiosity, practicing skepticism instead of cynicism when we encounter something unknown and different.We can’t have dogmas, prejudices and stereotypes in marketing. Marketing needs to be open to new ideas and new views of the world around us.

In his phenomenal TedTalk, Sir Ken Robinson tells the story of a girl who draws in school.
The teacher asks her, “What are you drawing?”
Girl: “I draw God…”
Teacher: “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Girl: “They’ll know in a minute…“.