This post was originally published on BusinessInsider.com.
We haven’t formally met but we have had an ongoing relationship for quite some time. I am a consumer; you are an advertiser trying to sell me something. Our Love/Hate relationship goes something like this: I love to use my internet but hate to be interrupted by you. I know you are the one I should actually thank for my ‘free’ usage of all the websites and applications on the web, but deep down in my heart I am finding it hard to thank you. You see, I just want to go about my day and easily use the mobile apps I enjoy, listen to my favorite music on Pandora, search on the topics I need to know about and read interesting articles.
But here is what I don’t think you fully understand. You make my life worse. You interrupt me in every possible way you can think of and believe just because you “got in front of my eyeballs”, I will make a purchase. The thing is, I cannot easily use my mobile apps, since you jump right in as I load it up and steal another 5 or 10 seconds of my time. I hate this! When I listen to Pandora, between every 2 or 3 songs you shout something I don’t ever pay attention to, so you are wasting your money. I bet you didn’t know that as I listen to Pandora when drive I turn the radio off or the volume down for about 10 to 15 seconds so I don’t have to hear you freaking annoying voice for the 10th time this hour. You are just an annoyance and I despise you more and more as this goes on. When I search on Google, there you are… trying your hardest to sell me something I don’t want. Even though when I search I type in a keyword, most of the time I am looking to be informed on a topic not buy it. And what makes me the most frustrated is when you cover the screen the instant I hit a website like Forbes, basically witholding me from my very intent.
Do you realize how rude this is? I don’t walk up to your desk as you are working and put my hand right in front of your screen, and hold it there for 15 seconds – smiling like I am doing something nice for you. If I did, you would probably hit me.
I understand it is you who underwrites our “free” access to information so I am not blindly telling you to go away. All I ask is please make my life better, not worse.
Know my preferences. Better yet, let me tell you what I like and what I don’t like.
All the spying, cookies and social data mining in the world will not come nearly as close to knowing me as good as I know myself. Please allow me to tell you what I like and what I don’t like so when you do step in to talk to me I am actually interested in what you are saying. (Would someone out there build a platform where I can input my 15 category interest and allow only those advertisers to reach me on every interactive media in the world? Come to think of it, I just might. If you are interested in helping, give me a shout.)
Know when I want to interact. Never interrupt me.
Interrupting is one of the rudest forms of communication in the human race. Maybe this is your problem: since you are not human you don’t realize you are committing one of the biggest faux pas out there. If you were to start your strategic alignment with more of a human perspective you would better position yourself for me to receive your message.
Make my life better. Add value to me and my life
Hindering my internet viewing, making me wait to watch a video or jumping in the middle of a conversation does no make my life better. It only creates frustration. Correct me if I am wrong, but I assume you want to create value for the brand or company you are representing? Okay, if that is the case… I will value any company who makes my life better. And since we naturally associate the Brand of the company with the mode of advertising … any Brand who rudely interrupts me is instantly placed in the LAME bucket. Sorry, that is the truth. On the contrary, any Brand who slides naturally into a position to add value to me and make my life better – pure GOLD. Loyal. They got me for life.
Look, I know this is going to be a life long marriage so can you please start to see things from my side of the bed for once? If you do, I guarantee you will get more than you ever imagined.