Global digital ad spend is projected to be over $270 Billion in 2018, equivalent to approximately one and half times the state budget of Norway. In other words, a massive sum, which raises the question: why aren’t customers happy with the service yet?

It has become an accepted part of the online marketer’s world view that our targeting audiences, both those who adblock us and those who add to Lifetime Value, can be fed with junk content and junk advertising. It is we marketers who are to blame for this blindness towards users’ actual needs.

Western culture has resulted in the rise of individualism, which has had the effect on marketers and our clients of a lack of focus on the needs of our customers. The exchange of goods has been depersonalized, diminishing users to a mix of metrics that culminate in a single binary point of data: buyer or not buyer.

In truth, each of us has similar experiences to these users. We deal with the same burdens and fears, we cherish similar dreams. And just like our prospective customers we don’t buy into old-fashioned marketing anymore. We are suspicious of loud words and bright pictures, and have grown tired of catch phrases and so-called special offers. Most of the time we aren’t ready to buy. We are browsing the Web to learn, to change, to reassure ourselves. We want our lives to be made simpler and easier, rather than going through yet one more checkout process.

As ad volumes increase, quality tends to be diluted and users get more trash to comb through in order to reach what they wanted in the first place. This doesn’t serve our customers or our campaigns: so often we see that scaling an ad campaign fails to deepen the reach while a tweak on the sales angle can often work wonders. From a customer perspective this is easy to understand: if you want to sell me a jacket, show me the one I can afford and preferably the one that suits the season. Deliver quality and value to me or I won’t come back, it isn’t complicated.

Now, for marketers the beautiful part of all this is that the industry is closer than ever to delivering that flawless, laser-sharp online experience. With programmatic use of big data we can nail each user’s desires and with a pinch of conscious input we are able to win their hearts and fuel monetization at the same time. That’s when the process really works for everyone.

This is nothing new but it requires the marketing community to focus on tapping into brand image, user lifetime, and differentiation instead of blindly following ROI. This isn’t just a matter of metrics. The key to meeting these decisive criteria is to give our human empathy an opportunity to contribute. The ability to feel and understand others is largely responsible for the collaboration, survival and development of the human race. Given that successful track record, we should have the confidence to let empathy inform our decisions, identify the client’s view of their problems and so supply relevant solutions.

This is the key difference between successful brands and no-name companies. Apple took a computer industry that advertised itself using performance benchmarks, hard disk sizes and MHz, and transformed it using the power of empathy. If you have ever bought an Apple product you already understand the power of this approach. Research shows that humans make buying decisions emotionally, and then find “logical” reasons to rationalize the decision that has already been made. Apple understands this. Do you?

When you do, your brand will begin the process of becoming the mark of quality.


ClickDealer, a GDM Group company, provides performance marketing solutions for publishers, advertisers, and agencies worldwide. The company offers a comprehensive range of advertising services to fit any specific set of KPIs for its clients.