The Death of Advertising (But Check Out the New Baby!)


Advertising as we know it has succumbed after a long battle to hang on as the way for businesses to market. It passed surrounded by its friends; the Internet, Social Media, Inbound Marketing and New Streaming Services. Cause of death; technology and the consumers ability to dictate how and when they receive advertising messages. Family of the deceased have requested a closed casket, but we are sure, if you really want to, that you can find videos on YouTube.

Advertising as we know it is dead. In the glory years of television, radio, newspaper, and direct mail, businesses could tell a story and shift consumers’ perception of their products with short, colorful, and entertaining messages. There was no doubt as a consumer that you were looking at an ad.


Then, technology came along and empowered the consumer.
She now chooses how she consumes media and can opt out of ad messages. Her attention span has plummeted. In 2012, a consumer’s attention span was 12 seconds. In 2014, it dropped to 8 seconds according to a study by Microsoft. Consumers no longer have tolerance for ads shoved in their face and will not sit through an unsolicited pitch. They have less free time and have begun a love affair with the Internet. Consumers can now research purchases to death. And they do. They want to have knowledge when making a purchase, and they want to see options.
the death of advertising
44% - The number of HH who have “cut the cord” and no longer subscribe to paid TV services


Today, consumers want value in messages from companies. To put it another way, they want education or useful tools for free before they commit to giving you their hard-earned dollar. Or to back it up a step, before they’ll even listen to what you have to say.
YOU’VE GOT WHAT THEY WANT. YOU’RE JUST HOLDING BACK. STOP DOING THAT. In a sense, this is good news, if you are a business that can educate the consumer or provide knowledge that will improve their lives, you are sitting pretty. Many business have truly valuable knowledge to share. Knowledge that would knock the socks off potential customers. They’re just not sharing it.
Business still tend to revert back to cheesy, boring, arrogant ads that insult the consumer’s intelligence. Instead, they could wow the consumer by providing value and elevate themselves to becoming a “trusted source” in their area of expertise.


How then? How do you educate and provide information that works as a magnet for potential customers rather than hitting them with a sledgehammer?
With content-rich tools like:

  • Articles
  • Downloadable checklists and tools
  • Infographics
  • Instructional videos
  • E-books
  • Downloadable tools

This does not have to be as overwhelming as it seems. Get rid of something to make room for this approach. Think of the content-rich tools that you create as a replacement for some of your TV commercials, print ads, signage, radio ads, flyers, brochures or direct mail pieces.
Here’s a big bonus: Once you create content-rich tools, you always have them. That’s the beauty of this approach. You are building a library that sits on your website and makes it a natural SEO darling in Google’s eyes.
Your sales team will love you if you create content-rich tools that they can send to clients. They have something of value to provide for free, and it gets them one step closer to a sale.


Easy. With a blog tool and email system, landing pages with conversion forms, Google search ads, native advertising, and social media posts that invite people to learn more. In the long run, it’s actually cheaper than old-school advertising.


Get some help from someone who knows what they are doing. Blogging is a science. Enlist the services of someone who can write “bloggy” style. Find a company who can build landing pages and develop conversion forms that work, and who has a track record of success in placing digital ad campaigns.

It’s time to dump the old ways of advertising into the toilet and give it a flush. Go get yourself a new marketing baby: content-rich tools. Feed it, nurture it, and love it. Your customers will, and it’s time you give them what they really want.
See examples of content-rich tools in the CWS Marketing Library.


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