In our last article, we discussed how many consumers perceive advertising as manipulative and less than authentic. Another common complaint is that advertising imposes itself on the individual in an unwanted manner – it interrupts the flow of information or entertainment to gain mindshare. Thus, a commercial appears at the climax of the television show, or the banner ad covers up what you are trying to read. Indeed, much of the advertising to which we are exposed each day is unsolicited and unwanted.
The unsolicited nature of advertising is often compounded by its production values. Too much advertising is poorly produced, too loud, and is repeated too frequently. What is deemed “clever” by some advertising agencies and executives is just as often better characterized as “grating”.
What to do about the problem: The interruptive nature of advertising is avoidable by travel professionals. Advertise in media where your message is desired and obtain the permission of clients and others to send information their way. Make your messages simple and direct, not too frequent, and appropriate to the medium and the image you want to project. Avoid intrusion into private space by not using pop-up or pop-under banner ads or rich media that immediately begins playing or obscures text when the viewer arrives on a page.
Authentic marketing only requires that you provide the consumer with good information that assists in making a purchasing decision. The persuasive tactics of authentic marketing depend on reason, logic, and authentic emotion, not trickery and excessive frequency or volume. By clearly and consistently carrying on permission-based communication with consumers, the travel agency will project an image that will be far more welcome in its receipt.