These days we’re dog paddling in a sea of advertising. There are no public places and places offline or online where we are free from being targeted by advertisers. Different demographic groups have differing responses to advertising saturation. For the youngest among us it’s the norm. For the eldest, it’s a rude and unwelcome intrusion.
I’m a long time blogger, who truly loves living the a simple life on a small forested island with a very low population. I actually draw water from my own well and chop waste wood to burn for heat.
I’m a low income earner who knows that beyond a minimum threshold of poverty, money doesn’t buy happiness. I’m into creating more happiness by making do with with less stuff. When I need something that cannot be found in a recycle spot or charity shop then I buy local.
I don’t take expensive trips to exotic locations around the world and then blog on the the simple life. Nor do I continually reach into my wallet to purchase tons of books and online courses to create a circle of cyber friends to replace the friends I could have offline, if I got off my butt and got out to meet people face to face.
Yes indeed, I’m an old-time blogger who can can clearly recall when the blogosphere was not a marketplace as it is today. Granted we are all marketing our thoughts, insights and opinions by publishing blogs today as we did in the 1990’s but that’s not what Courtney is referring to in her post that I’d like to share with you now.
The future of advertising is up to us. If more blogs and businesses focused on what they do best and featured less advertising, perhaps we’d pay better attention to what they have to say.
What do you think? Do you like advertising on blogs? Pop-ups? Lots of stuff going on in the sidebar? From: How I Really Feel About Advertising
Demographics and advertising tolerance
Demographic studies assist with targeting a specific audience with specific characteristics, including gender, age, education, and income level. This year there has been lots of talk about how the media and advertisers are focused on appealing to the young and are ignoring Baby Boomers. 18 to 39 year olds are the prime demographic target for advertisers as they slowly replace their parents in the marketplace. Call me a curmudgeon; I’m not worried about the loss of focus.
I’m not privy to any stats WordPress.com Staff keep with regard to which demographic group is the most likely to (1) apply to have their blogs on custom domains included in the WordAds program, (2) or to purchase a No-Ads upgrade as I have for mine. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the (1) group are the Echo Boomers and the (2) group are the Baby Boomers.
I am a Baby Boomer
For decades, marketers have targeted Baby Boomers, the largest generational demographic in history. Hence, it’s no wonder that demographic studies reveal there is the backlash to this assault on our generation. It is university educated baby boomers who are the least tolerant demographic group when it comes accepting on blog advertising.
Baby Boomers constitute a sizable portion of consumers in the European and North American markets and around the world and our spending habits have a powerful influence on all economies.
Many misconceptions surround the marketing viability of today’s Baby Boomers. We have the highest incomes of any age group in developed countries. In North America we are as spending twice the amount of 18 to 39 year olds spend. Baby Boomers Are Surpassing Gen-Y As Entrepreneurs. Though Baby boomers control 70% of American’s disposable income, only 5% of advertising is geared towards our age group.
” Never betray your style. You are who you are, and your audience follows you because of who you are.” (Hat Tip to James for his Your Readers are People article.)
It’s important not to lump all Baby Boomers together as that does not take into account sub-groups and behavioral differences. There are the conventional Baby Boomers who were and are much like their parents. There are the Yuppies who are wealthy professionals with two or more cars in their climate controlled garages and two or more homes, who adore traveling to foreign countries “on the cheap”. There are the Hippies who had the level education to become professionals but turned their backs on the consumer driven society and urban living, Granted, there are other Baby Boomer sub-groups too but their numbers are less significant.
Baby Boomers, 8,000 of whom turn 65 each day in America, have reinvented each stage of life they’ve entered, from young adulthood to careers to parenting. And whether they’re working or retired, wealthy or on a fixed income, living alone or with other seniors, they aim to redefine what it means to be old. – Why companies are failing to cash in on flood of aging Baby Boomers worth US$15-trillion
In the main Baby Boomers aren’t inclined to become faithful followers of blogs that feature advertising. That’s because most ads are not personally relevant to us and do not offer any value to our lives. Sure we Boomers and Silver Surfers put up with advertising on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, where we communicate with friends and family but we don’t dig it and buy in because we aren’t a “follower” generation. We are a skeptical generation. Many of us dropped out of the consumer driven society while still living in it and others dropped out completely and moved back to the land.
When it comes to Baby Boomers the few exceptions re: online advertising tolerance are self improvement ebooks and/or courses or other products and services focused on lifestyle changes, many of which are often made available free of charge.
Clearly most Baby Boomers aren’t easily seduced by trendy neuro-bunk.
Molly Crockett: Beware neuro-bunk
Neuroscientist Molly Crockett studies altruism, morality and value-based decision-making in humans. Brains are ubiquitous in modern marketing: Headlines proclaim cheese sandwiches help with decision-making, while a “neuro” drink claims to reduce stress. There’s just one problem, says neuroscientist Molly Crockett: The benefits of these “neuro-enhancements” are not proven scientifically. In this to-the-point talk, Crockett explains the limits of interpreting neuroscientific data, and why we should all be aware of them.
So where do I really stand on blog advertising?
In Minimalist Blogging: Strip it! and Blogging: How to lose me as a reader posts, I revealed I’m a less is more blogger. Given the amount of advertising I experience everywhere in my life and the fact that I cannot escape it, the tiniest bit of advertising on a blog repels me.
Clearly the commenters on Courtney’s How I Really Feel About Advertising post that I linked to above dislike pop-ups I dislike them too. Does anyone like them? And, does anyone like banner ads?
- Seriously, is there anything more annoying than a banner image that links to a third party site! That’s deceptive linking.
- Is there anything more aggravating than experiencing a subscription pop-up in your face before you have read a full post? How arrogant.
- How do you feel about sidebars full of Google Adsense ads and/or junky ads for third party merchandise and services? They distract me from reading content.
- Are you seduced into following blogs due to giveaways, gift draws and/or sponsored interviews? If bribery is your thing or your are susceptible to it, then clearly we are not compatible.
- Do you extend any credence to bloggers who claim they need to make a little income on the side by pimping their blog out for pennies? I don’t.
Without an iota of doubt I’m adverse to all of those approaches. I come only to read your original content so give me break and clear that crap off your blog please. If you need help learning how to attract more readers honorably read and act on Twenty five steps to increase blog traffic.
I don’t run an AdBlocker
For years I ran an AdBlocker and pop-up blockers on my browsers so I could free myself from witnessing what I did not want to view on blogs. This spring I made a change and since then I no longer run an AdBlocker and pop-up blocker, so I see it all and grieve the fact that the blogopshere has been completely corrupted by avaricious opportunism.
If you do market products you personally make and or services you personally provide on your blog – good on you. Provided you set up your type of blog with a products and services page and don’t promote what you sell rapaciously in every post you publish, you won’t lose me as a reader. But do note that I don’t feel the same way about paid or sponsored content and third party advertising at all.
Unlike those who are prepared to accept third party advertising that’s matched to blog content and who ascribe to the PPC little dab will do you in the right place on the blog notion – I reject any attempt to rationalize milking your readers for pennies.
I rarely visit product review blogs so if I’m reading your blog it’s not because I will solely rely on your opinion is re: any commercial product or service or because I hope to “win” a sponsored giveaway. I’m a skilled researcher who can find anything commercially produced or provided without your help and I don’t need any bribes masquerading as gifts – thanks. Sharing your brand preference with me is more likely to drive me off your blog than to encourage me to stay because I’m a free thinking no-brand shopper. So unless you reach into your wallet and purchase every item you review, the likelihood that I would ascribe any objectivity to your review will be non-existent.
If I’m reading your blog then we have a common interest and are both likely to be reading the same related blogs in the niche. Consequently, I already know who is flogging whatever in for example, the personal development niche – thanks.
Please don’t assume you can still keep me as a reader because you can’t and won’t, if you embed affiliate links and other make money links advertising your blogging buddies’ blogs, products and services into your content post after post. If you do then I won’t be reading your blog frequently and I won’t be commenting. I’ll simply love you from a distance instead.
Advertising on blogs neither informs nor entertains me. At the least, it distracts and annoys me. At the most it angers me.
Now it’s your turn to share where you stand. What’s your take on third party advertising on blogs?
Related post: Advertising on WordPress.com blogs