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Why Using Push Marketing Online Is A Total Failure

By Dan Willstrand Dec 07, 2018

Tags Advertiser

Reading 2 min

I once heard a media planner (at a famous agency) advice a customer to turn up the volume in their pre-roll commercials. The argument was that consumers would then still hear the customer's message even if they chose to browse another page while waiting for the commercial to finish. What he was saying was basically: “If your potential customers don’t like what you’re saying, you should raise your voice and scream into their ears”. That kind of satanic advice has clearly contributed to the horrible experience it is to visit many media sites today.

push dont online

Strangely enough, this thinking hasn’t changed very much over the years. If you ask the CEO:s of large companies what first comes to their minds when you say digital marketing, I bet a high percentage of them will still answer banners. They will also mention Google and Facebook, but surprisingly many invest too much in push marketing, because it’s the easiest choice, it’s what they are familiar with, and they’re lazy.

It’s high time we have a serious talk with all Marketing Directors spending money on ruining our media experience. Here are a five arguments you can use:


The smaller the screen is, the more intimate the user experience gets, and the more disturbing unwanted advertising becomes. It’s that simple. Any ad format that interferes with users’ content consumption, especially on mobile phones, will be regarded as intrusive, be it banners, pre-rolls or spam. This was never the case with print media, where the ads were designed to harmonize with the reading experience, and also easy to skip.

Yes, push marketing can still do it for you if you want to increase brand awareness. But choose the right channel! Print ads and outdoor billboards are still there for you.


People quickly learn to avoid things they don’t like. They install ad-blockers, they use spam-filters and they open new browser tabs to avoid ads they didn’t ask for. And even if they don’t, they still won’t pay attention. Banner blindness is a well-known user behavior, describing people’s tendency to ignore site elements that they perceive to be ads.

How did the industry react to this behavior? Well, often like the media planner above, by making the ads even more intrusive, and launching a race to the bottom in terms of user experience.


Forcing consumers to spend time with your online ads is a bit like paying people to become your friends. It fosters neither humility nor creativity, both valuable qualities when you want to engage people. Digital marketing must allow the user to choose what they want to consume. Content recommendations is a typical example of this.


Most successful digital marketers have very elaborate strategies for sales funneling today. Attracting the right visitors to the company’s landing pages and converting those visitors into customers is at the heart of every e-business. Therefore high bounce-rates are bad, and that is exactly what you get with display ads. Why? Because a large portion of those visits are results of fat-finger accidents. People ended up at your site by mistakingly clicking an ad while scrolling on their mobiles.


Ad fraud has been a headache since the early days of online advertising, but with real-time bidding the problem is growing. The fragmented nature of RTB makes it easier to commit and conceal fraud. Bot traffic, invisible ads and impression laundering are just a few examples.

Digital marketers should reduce their investments in marketing activities dependent on third-party measurement, and focus their efforts on attracting visitors to sites they control and measure themselves.


Content marketing and our content recommendations are activities designed to respect people’s integrity and offer value, such as knowledge or inspiration. Combined with search advertising it can pretty much cover all your digital funneling needs.

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