Your ads are not for you

Here’s the puzzling math of advertising, offline and on:

  • Everybody doesn’t read, remember or click on your ads.
  • Nobody isn’t the right answer either.

In other words, you don’t get 100% attention when you buy an ad. In fact, you don’t get 50% attention or even 1%. If you’re very very good and very lucky, it might be .1% but it’s more likely to be one in 10,000. Which is exactly the right number, it turns out, to make advertising work. Any lower and you couldn’t afford it, any higher and everyone would need a warehouse, not a house, to store all the stuff they bought.

This is no accident, of course. We look at ads when we need to. Then we stop.

The real question is this: who’s likely to look at your ads? Because that’s who you’re advertising to.

This is especially important online, because an unclicked text ad is truly invisible, with very little subliminal value. One surprising view is that  the typical clicker is female, lower-than-typical income, interested in sweepstakes and coupons. Not that surprising, actually, since if your ‘need’ is for that sort of content, you’re going to click often, and forever. People who click on ads for class action lawyers or kitchen renovation stop doing so once their project is complete. So they’re outnumbered.

Anyway, stop advertising to yourself. You’re already sold. You’re not the target market.