Is it a fair question that as marketers we often forget about the fact that we are also consumers?

The two aren’t mutually exclusive, far from it. However when it comes to planning and evaluating the success of a campaign I often wonder why the metrics being used give no insight into the experience had by the consumer, who at the end of the day is the whole reason the campaign exists. 

In a previous post I mentioned the idea of the ‘dark matter’ of the advertising universe and that increasingly intrusive and interruptive advertising could actually be damaging to brand attitude.  At the moment this is not measured particularly well and the problem is as an advertiser we only look at stats like CTR’s and number of impressions, all basically targets to hit.  Now putting your consumer hat (or face) on is it right that your experience becomes part of a number driven target?

I found this example on the Independent website ( a screen shot of the sports section).  I challenge you to find which is actual content and which is advertising.  It’s such a visual overload you switch off.  However each of those adverts is delivering impressions and adding to a target. 

If you remove the advertising, the experience, i.e. finding the content as a consumer you were there to find, becomes far easier.

There are many cases of this approach, it’s not endemic to display only, and is largely a result of the relatively low-cost, high volume reach digital channels provide.

I think that the best campaigns consider the experience from the outset and place the consumer firmly in the middle.  I guess the challenge is when planning any campaign is to think about how you would react to seeing/ experiencing it as a consumer before thinking about how many targets can be smashed as a marketer!

PS. I am as guilty for about thinking targets first and experience second but am now trying to think the other way around.  As they say the first step in the road to recovery is admitting the addiction!


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