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  • Robin Hawksworth

Desire - You can't sell to anyone who is not looking to buy.


I grew up in the eighties where my daily TV viewing was peppered with adverts. While they disturbed us every 25 minutes, they were often more engrossing than the programs that fell both side of them. Even my monthly GQ read came with a certain level of accepted marketing.

We expected it, we even welcomed the marketers into our homes as they offered us a certain level of quality entertainment as well as a clear link to the audience who was watching.


They created story lines that some of us remember to this day. Fast forward to 2018 and there is a mass explosion of lazy pointless noise suddenly taking over every screen I own.


My daily TV habit has long died off to be as replaced by YouTube and other streaming services. While I understand the need for free-to-use platforms to gain operational revenues from advertisers, my objection is the un-structured amount and type of adverts that now fight for my ever decreasing attention span. The human touch has long been replaced by an all powerful algorithm that is left to decide what to slap me around the face with today. This has cumulated in 99.9% of the adverts not relevant or interesting to me. I can never understand what makes it think that someone listening to a YouTube Billy Idol playlist may be interested in "building a logo", "A taxi service app" or "world of war craft".... Well done algorithm.... I was only just thinking about all three of those things as I sang along to 'White Wedding' dancing around the living room.


The flip-side to this is that these brands will never get my business purely on the basis that they interrupted me with out any inclination of interest, not even a google search remotely linked to either of them. As soon as they pop up I change the channel or tune out. As the 3 and 6 second video clip metric's take over the predictive AI world, marketers are forced to push a harder sell in a the shorter time frame allotted to them, removing any sense of entertainment or an attempt at real engagement.


Now as someone who makes his living in the world of on-line media, I understand the users trade-off of using free services for some level of advertisers access, but we still need to ensure that the content is relevant and attractive. I think we have just gotten lazy, after all, Facebook has made it too easy for anyone to send a piece of content to everyone in a certain location at a certain time delivering metrics that anyone can manipulate to show a positive reaction to. Is our end-game to overload consumers to such a point where a backlash causes them to pay subscription fees to a couple of channels that promise advertising free usage. As a daily consumer of multiple channel these days are not far off.


We no longer create desire in our content, we are only being judged on mathematical metrics and not on real-sales. Most of the marketing that comes my way does not have any emotional connection baked into it. It is either flat, opting to use sex to sell anything and more importantly not relevant to me on a physiological level.


Creating a desire to buy, desire to visit or even a desire to act should be placed back onto the front pages of our priority sheets when we sit with our clients. We should prioritise the needs of the consumer and not the just our own selfish needs for our businesses.


"Desire - a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen."


- Building in a desire factor helps the sales conversion of goods and services.


- Elevating a desire in like-minded people can lead them to a unique destination they will enjoy.


- Triggering emotional desire's can help global charities or earth-related issues come to the fore and mobilise a voluntary work-force to work on them


So please, let's all start to think about what we as consumers would like to see on our personal screens and start delivering that to our customers. How we act as humans is how they act, what disturbs us will disturb them. Let's stop just elevating the noise and become organised conductors of desire.

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