Gentle reminder to my fellow marketers – people already hate us.
If there’s one core thing I’ve learned as a digital marketer, it’s that marketers ruin everything.
Instagram was cool before we flooded your feed with ads. ESPN was cool before we made a huge Toyota truck come right at your computer screen. Pandora was cool before we made you take a break every 3 songs to hear an ad we think might be interesting to you. Snapchat was cool before we started serving you ads in between every story.
The core commonality here is that most advertisers have been taught to interrupt you.
We’ve been taught that interrupting people in their daily course of activities is the only way we will get our service in front of you.
It’s like the dudes out on the Las Vegas Strip flicking cards of “hot girls” in their palm and standing in your way while you try to walk down the street.
Newsflash to my fellow marketers: People hate being interrupted in what they’re trying to do.
And yet we still do it.
And now Facebook has given us another advertising platform to do so at an even higher annoyance rate – Messenger Ads.
In early 2017, Facebook rolled out apps that integrated into Facebook Messenger’s user interface.
The ads currently take up a lot of screen space on the homescreen, as you can see above.
This makes the Messenger UX less user-friendly, as you have to scroll past these large, hard-to-ignore ads, just to use other key Messenger features.
Facebook has (for now) said that ads will not appear in conversations, unless the user chooses to click on the ad or start a chat with the brand.
Look – I get it. Messenger ads are another way for brands and businesses to make close contact with prospects. I love it. I’m a sales and marketing guy all day.
But there’s a right and wrong way to do this. There’s a fine line between spamming and useful advertising.
One of my Facebook friends recently asked her friends what they thought of Messenger ads and check out the slew of negative comments:
(I’ve circled all of the “I hate this!” comments in red just to save your eyes a bit)
Guys – we’re already fighting an uphill battle here. Not only do people not like the intimate ads, they already hate marketers and don’t understand that they’re being served this ad because they’ve shown interest in something related to the ad before.
Look – I feel about Messenger ads the same way I feel about automated LinkedIn messages, auto-tweets, auto-emails, auto-texts, etc. that immediately tell me about someone’s offer – spam it ASAP. Horrible marketing.
Marketers ruin everything because too many of us are looking for the quickest way to shortcut the transaction.
We figure if we end up in people’s Facebook messages or text messages or LinkedIn messages, it will give us a quicker lane to their bank accounts. Too many marketers are looking for the quickest way to get people’s money, which is why they tell you about their programs, services and offers right off the gate.
The truth here is that the marketers who are marketing to you like that HATE BEING MARKETED TO LIKE THAT THEMSELVES. It’s insane.
There are practitioners out there who are marketing to people in ways that they don’t like being marketed to themselves.
They’re playing this backwards-ass game of old-school direct-response marketing instead of engaging in the longer-term game, building relationships and providing much more value than they ask for.
Because building long-term relationships with people, creating true engagement and dialogue – that takes time and patience. People lack patience.
Marketers want things NOW because they need to deliver weekly ROI reports to their bosses or board of directors, or they need to make this month’s rent.
So some marketers are almost ‘forced’ to market for the short-term transaction simply because of the reporting they’re forced into by their higher-ups.
That’s why the ads in your Facebook Messenger suck. Because marketers suck. And because their bosses are looking for 7-day reports instead of 365-day reports.
Long story short, the platform of Facebook Messenger advertising is not the problem.
Yes, it’s personal and sometimes intrusive, but it’s not the issue.
The issue is the creative. The issue is the content. The issue is that 99% of marketers and business people are playing the short-term game – looking for the quickest way to a transaction – instead of using these mediums to carefully curate relationships, provide value and then ASK for something.
There’s definitely a place for these types of ads. Some folks are crushing it and rightfully so. They’re doing it right.
But most people are abusing it because they’re locked in on the quickest way to get into your pockets.
Marketers – we gotta give, give, give, give, GIVE … and then ASK. Too many people are starting off their interactions with you by asking up front without having proved any value to you.
Because quick one-time transactions are the only way they can prove their worth.
Look, I’d love to hear your experience with Messenger ads and how you’ve used them or experienced them in your inbox.
Drop me a line in the comments below…