Gerry McGovern on trust and anti-marketing

Sarah Winters, , Opinion

Last week, I attended the Content Marketing and Webredactie Congres in Amsterdam, produced by Entopic.

The keynote speaker was Gerry McGovern. I have heard Gerry speak a few times and every time I’ve walked away feeling inspired and with information I can use with clients. I thought I would share 3 of his points here.

Banner ad blindness

How many of you use a link in a banner ad? How many of you even see them anymore? 

Creative consultant Dave Trott estimated 89% of all advertising is ignored. That equates to billions of wasted money worldwide. Gerry showed a slide that said:

  • 0.03 chance of being hit by lightning
  • 0.04 chance of using a link in a banner ad

You are more likely to be hit by lightning than click a banner ad.

We are so bombarded by messaging all the time, we filter it out. 

It reminded me of a project called cognitive cities. Neuroscientists were looking at the amount of info we are exposed to every day, the effect it has and how it is changing our brains. You can read more about this in this chapter on What are Cognitive Cities?

People don’t trust the top-down approach 

We trust each other.

Gerry said we don’t trust brands and we are not loyal to them any more. 

I’ve seen that in research. But I have also seen that if the user experience is good, people come back again and again. Which leads me onto Gerry’s next point:

Ease of use

We are successful if we provide “ease of use, not talking about ease of use”.

Gerry said: “Fix the flaws, don’t describe a work-around for the flaw”.

You are probably nodding along here. How many times have you been asked to write around a feature or part of a service because it didn’t work? Some organisations see fixing the problem as far more expensive than writing about it. And in some cases, that will be true. But the real cost comes from failing, and losing, your audience. 

Find out more

There were too many amazing points to summarise here. I’d recommend looking at Gerry’s slides. You can follow him on Twitter @gerrymcgovern. And, do attend any of his sessions wherever he is speaking.

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