Insurance Policies Aren't Storytellers

Posted by Energy Wire on October 23, 2013 at 6:06 AM

Peel back and takeover banners trigger an immediate reaction from me: find the “x” that makes them disappear so I can get to the content I want. Banner ads in general are a nuisance and kind of creepy. The big brother feeling I get when stalked by an advertisement site after site is rather unnerving. 
That said, it would be a disservice to our clients if we didn’t recommend a digital campaign as a part of their messaging mix. We need to be where the target audience spends their time, and for the most part that’s online.

Marketers need to show the ROI of every dollar. They need data to prove their case and protect their budgets. And a digital campaign provides data – CTR, CPC, SEO, conversion rates, time-on-site, optimization, reporting… everything Marketing Directors need wrapped up in a one neat, little package.

Digital campaigns aren’t just smart buys, they are necessary. They are insurance policies.

But these policies are not the be all end all. They should be only a part of the program. Insurance policies exist for one reason: to offset risk and protect investments. The problem is when we can show a client through reporting that every dollar was “well spent” why would any marketing manager want to spend their dollars anywhere else? Why take any risks at all? If we can’t convince our clients to face even minor failures in strategy or creative then what is the point of a digital campaign that protects nothing but complacency?

Think of how many banner ads you see in one day. How many do you remember? How many did you click with purpose? Did any make you angry or frustrated? Has a banner ad or sponsored email ever made you smile or laugh?

I get it, banner ads are required, we have to do them and it would be stupid not to. But for every insurance policy we should insist upon taking at least one risk. We should advocate for the creation of content and ideas that could completely tank. Or soar. While the probability of a banner ad “soaring” is slim to non-existent, we must take that chance. We can’t only create the interruptions that separate people from the content they want, we need to create the content they’re seeking out.

We need insurance policies, but only because they give us the freedom to fail.

Buy insurance policies. Take risks. Create content. Tell stories.

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