digital marketing

Digital Marketing That Really Grinds My Gears

admin Branding, Digital Content, Integrated Marketing, Integration, Social Media Leave a Comment

Some approaches to marketing just rub me the wrong way no matter what. Not every attempt at digital marketing is successful, and not all channels are created equal for every brand. Today I’m going to poke at a few approaches that are very difficult to use well – and sometimes just outright terrible.

Dear frustrating marketers,

How dare you overuse e-mail subscriptions, pop-up call-to-action windows, and auto-play videos in a world where I readily choose my involvement, not have it be force-fed to me?

Concerned Integrator

Pop-up a Cap

I mentioned this last week, but I just don’t care for pop-up ads. At all. A pop-up ad could try to hand me a free new car, or even a 1-in-5 chance at a free new car, and I’d still angrily gouge my pointer into the “X” in the corner of the offending window.

The truth is, I would not recommend pop-up ads to a lot of folks in my generation (or younger), because we have been learned to become desensitized to the rapid-fire nature of advertisements. We have learned to think and move as fast as the computer screens in front of us. However, Generation X and the Baby Boomers can be much more susceptible to reading, thinking about, and considering acting on the ads in front of them. My theory is that this comes from being “television” generations – people who have trained to sit still in front of TV shows and all of their built-in advertisements.

This article from points out the why / why not / and how best to use e-mail subscription pop-ups. My favorite:

Don’t try to keep people on your site.

Dang right! Digital marketing should not feel like a hostage situation!

I Don’t Subscribe to Your Approach

I’m getting very touchy about over saturated e-mail subscriptions, even when categorized well. They are a constant source of clutter that I refuse to deal with. At the time I sign up for one, I usually have a good reason. However, I don’t think about how each individual good reason gradually becomes one giant mound of e-mails. I recently found this amazing e-mail subscription management tool, Unroll Me, that I highly recommend. Unroll Me scans your inbox to find your subscriptions, asks which ones you want to cancel, and then sends you a single daily e-mail of the remaining subscriptions for you to scan on your own time.

Until recently, I couldn’t stand almost every embedded autoplay video I’ve ever run across. Why the recent change of heart? In the last year, Facebook took it upon themselves to have their autoplay videos start without sound. Have you ever noticed that you sometimes forget what volume you leave your computer at, and then a stop over to a new webpage suddenly kicks your speakers into high gear and knocks your hat off your melon? It is potentially frustrating and embarrassing, depending on the nature of the video. If you also struggle to keep this video as bay, take heart – this article can guide you to solace.

Digital Marketing Salvation

There’s an upside to all of this. It demonstrates that all of these types of marketing can be both a) done well and b) done without. Integrated marketing approaches do not require all marketing channels, just effective marketing channels. So that begs the questions: “what makes a particular marketing channel effective?” You can see that this article points to SEO at the top of the digital marketing food chain, but what makes it effective.  Try this simple formula:


A digital viewer must see the content (impression) , engage with it (click, like, comment, share), and ultimately have an ongoing relationship with the brand (convert into action). In this formula, SEO still yields the highest return. SEO deals with organic (read: unpaid) search engine results. As a digital viewer, this makes me wonder: if I feel I have the freedom to choose my options, but in reality I’m going to select one of a few options I’m handed, I’m going to be at a crossroads of what I hope are “idea” options, and ultimately make my own choice.

SEO works to put a particular result among those select options. The maturation of organic search takes time and effort, but to a digital viewer, it feels like a more natural progression into a brand. The need for distracting pop-up advertisements, overwhelming e-mail numbers, and unwelcome autoplay videos starts to be overtaken by the viewers’ need for autonomy, interest, and solutions.

Lynx | Digital Media Producers creates results-driven content and strategies to enhance your customer’s experience of your brand. Contact us today to see how we can use the most effective digital marketing channels to help your brand get seen.

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