Bill Cutshall’s Weblog

June 19, 2009

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

Filed under: 1,Advertising — billcutshall @ 8:08 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

By profession I am a marketer and advertiser but contrary to common belief I am also a human being.  While I spend my workday trying to reach consumers on behalf of my clients, during the rest of the day I take extraordinary measures to hide from them.  I watch recorded TV shows so I can skip past commercials.  I listen to satellite radio and my MP3 player.  I filter my email against my contact list and use pop-up blockers on my web browsers.  My published home phone number has caller ID and no voicemail.  I don’t take a newspaper.  I pick up my mail about once a week and promptly throw out any obvious marketing materials.  The concern for marketers is that while I may be extreme for my demographic, 35 to 50 year old “affluent” white males, I am on the leading edge of a trend towards insulation from accessible communication channels.

So what is a marketer to do?

New channels are constantly opening while old ones are closing but the best solution may still lie in the past.  Isolation has helped me identify a few times when I actively seek advertising.

I actively seek advertising when I am driving.  I read billboards, bus vinyl, semi trailers, and even the occasional bumper sticker.  Seeing a board from a brand I identify with is a little like getting a postcard from a friend used to be before Facebook rendered those irrelevant.  I’m happy they thought enough of me to touch base.   I seem to have been conditioned to appreciate short witty blurbs of written communication.  I suspect the Internet is to blame.

I consume my general news and information electronically but I still prefer to get my interest-specific media in good old glossy magazine format.  When the new issue of Obscure Hobby Monthly finally arrives it usually takes me less than 30 minutes to read whatever editorial it contains and then, to extend my happiness, I go back and read the advertisements.   If I’m particularly interested in something I see, I jump online to research more about it.

Thirdly, I am much more conscious about the extended mythology of brands than I used to be.  I have found that “good retail experiences” are finding their way onto my conversational radar and that I actively listen to and share stories of company policies that stand out.  Companies are what I gossip about.

The important thing to note is that all of these channels is that their use is well understood and their effectiveness is highly influenced by the degree of development of the brand in question.  Even a well developed brand without long standing can perform well in these media.  If your brand is easily understood and if it resonates with your target, these media choices will perform well to reach your potential customer base.


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