Content Design London

Gerry McGovern: Decline of trust, rise of anti-marketing

Published 17 November 2017, by Sarah Winters in Digital Transformation.

Last week, I attended the Content Marketing and Webredactie Congres in Amsterdam, produced by Entopic. I ran a 3-hour content design 101 (that’s a whole other story right there) and 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 some of what he said here.

Gerry’s slides of the keynote: ‘Decline of trust, rise of anti-marketing’ are on slideshare

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

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

We are so bombarded by messaging all the time, we are filtering 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. Interesting info can be found:

People don’t trust the top-down approach. We trust each other.

Gerry said that we don’t trust brands and we are not loyal 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:

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

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

There’s too many amazing points to point out here. I’d recommend looking at Gerry’s slides, following him on Twitter @gerrymcgovern and attending any of his sessions wherever he is speaking. More details can be found:

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