Digital-push for ‘always-on’ destroys Brand promises

Digital-push for ‘always-on’ destroys Brand promises. People across 33 countries, by 84% expect brands to produce content ranging from digital content such as podcasts or a web series to experiential events. Yet 60% said the content brands currently create is “poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver

Digital-push for ‘always-on’ destroys Brand promises

This is my second blog post on Creativity. Because I feel bored with marketing content I see around…

But isn’t it a kind of ‘anarchy’ and clutter-only situation having more than 100 touchpoints (as a Brand owner) to fill-in with content and activations? Is it obligatory to be present in all?

Every day, Marketers in frenzy ‘dictate’ to their agencies to produce tonnes of content. Really. Tonnes. Some of it is not needed, or can’t work as the Marketer believes it should. Cover all social media. Do YouTube. Create moments. Check the newsletter.

We now see 5.000 messages per day! And imagine how annoyed will Ad Avoiders be if they were extremely loud in the 1970’s where we had almost 300 messages per day (with the TV penetration).

Marketing & Communications drown in Clutter

From paid search ads to content marketing and everything in between, we are drowning in a sea of brand messaging that is almost impossible to keep up with. We are drowning in clutter… And zero valuable experiences.

Borrow My Brain offers the Insight MIning & Briefing workshop to help improve Agencies and CMO teams think, strategize, and brief in an inspiring way (always based on Insights, Customer journeys, and creating unique User profiles).

In 4 out of the 5 workshops, participants tend to dive in the last part of the equation, the creative applications. The Instagram story, a microsite with videos and testimonials, pre-roll for Youtube. Again and again… What is the prevailing and moving idea? In which human insight has it been based? We communicate for which phase in the customer journey?

The defending voice says “Hey, come on… strong slogans and nice executions always rule. People like it. Media repurpose it. And Clients like it” (they laughed at the last pitch presentation). You are right, the % of loyalty decreases every month as the speed of light… at least, let’s have a laugh.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.


The culture of ‘Always-On’ kills Brands

Both Agencies and Clients have gone from mere silence (and fear to the digital era) to this over-production of Content tonnes in 2-3 years, without preparing strategically each Brand for this. We only need to be ‘seen’; we should be out there, among competitors …no matter the real business or perception objective.

Both ‘clans’ jump into execution without any real strategic positioning, experiences, differentiation work before. They see that results are lower, but they keep on in an unprecedented speed to show-off their digital scale…and that “they do things”. But Brands are hurting.

Audience impressions are there (1 million, 2 million), but the impact, recall and (CTA) action are missing. The parity of messaging (“seen it before” – real verbatim out of research test) turns negative perception against the Brand. Instagram Brand messaging, for example, right now is like populating Tokyo, if you catch my drift.

Clients / Marketers are still in ‘mass’ communications

Unfortunately, Clients have adopted for their Brands this ‘Always-On’ communications strategy, which is a really mass marketing mentality, disguised in digital-newness.

The more you are being seen, the better… I have bad news for you my dears. Selectivity, uniqueness, and having something really important to say is awarded (and well-accepted by consumers) nowadays. They already know they live in the clutter of google ads, FB ads, Insta buttons, and YouTube actions. But they don’t respond to all. At least, in a valuable way…

Don’t Clients realize that Brand interactions today are facilitated on the user’s terms? Target-audience chooses what they want to see, when, and the platforms they want. Clients have to be extremely cautious with their online presence.

Select wisely

It’s much wiser to do one activation with a profound reasoning and the desired outcome in mind for a ‘niche’ of the audience than bombarding everywhere (the ‘casualties will be greater’). Think and compare what you do today using the below online canvas:


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

Agencies don’t keep their strategic ‘guardian’ role

On the other hand, agencies -under revenue pressure- are directed to follow this push messaging style. They are creating content that isn’t relevant, or well-placed for a really, 100% right-targeted audience – when the consumer needs it.

This means that agencies are leaving their ‘guardian’ role, in communications strategy and storytelling, and they don’t educate the Client who most of the times act as a digital expert. But it isn’t about digital skills anymore (every 16 years old has it). It’s about strategic thinking on how, where, why to reach the target audience.

The content ‘bombardment’ is risky for Brand perception

Something profound has changed: people don’t care if you (Brand manager) have a target of +2% market share; they don’t care if you push a huge budget in communications; they don’t care if you hired a fantastic film director for your latest film. They only care to find inspiring ideas with a reason and a valuable benefit – when they want to!!

“Haven’t asked for this Content”

“Bombarded in our social media feeds”

“I’m closing apps to get rid of ads”

Ad blocker research studies

Today, brands need to provide a compelling reason for consumers to engage. If they don’t, then there are plenty of other brands for their audience to turn to. Those brands doing it right understand that their customers are struggling to wade through the content swamp that meets them from the moment they first check their feeds in the morning until the hour they spend checking their phones before they go to sleep at night.


In 2017, according to Havas’ “Meaningful Brands study” the 60% of content created by brands is ‘just clutter’ because it had little or no impact on business results or people’s lives.

The study, which questioned 375.000 people across 33 countries, found that 84% expect brands to produce content. This can range from digital content such as podcasts or a web series to experiential events. Yet 60% said the content brands currently create is “poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver”.

There is a big benefit to getting content right. Havas found a 71% correlation between content effectiveness and a brand’s impact on consumers’ personal wellbeing. That is important because the greater impact a brand has on personal wellbeing, the more meaningful a brand becomes and the better business results it achieves.

According to the study, meaningful brands outperform the stock market by 206%, while they see a 48% increase in the share of wallet and 137% greater returns on KPIs. The study defines ‘meaningful brands’ as those that have an impact on consumers’ personal, collective and functional benefits.

Do you need more convincing data? We have. Simply email us. But do your job right as a Client or as an Agency because off-and-online audiences and markets expect this from you!

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