Op-Ed: The End of Digital Advertising is Near and You Know It


Do you remember the day your boss told you to forget “Press Advertising”? Well, wait for it, because banner ads face the same destiny. One of the reasons the Internet was provided to the public after the Cold War was to embrace the open flow of information, and empower the open network through two way communication. This led to huge developments such as e-mail communication, social networks, mobile Internet, and many other tools that made our lives easier, faster more efficient and adaptive to an everyday changing world.

But, there is also the other side: “Bad, Greedy Advertisers” that decided it was a great opportunity (with high potential) to explore customer habits, communicate brand messaging and spam, spam, spam with advertising that proved to their bosses how paid digital advertising is the greatest tool for maximum exposure, especially in a short period of time. It’s all about clicks, CPC, CTR, CPM, CPI, CP-anything.

I work in the advertising industry, and I use paid advertising every day. Whether it’s through Google, native ads, social, programmatic, you name it. While I utilize these methods, I am against spammy, irrelevant, and harassing advertising that causes damage to my clients and prospective audience. It’s a matter of morale. It’s about the “Truth Well Told.”

Digital advertising is an innovation, and a blessing. But, today, online consumers are becoming more rigid towards it. They now skip, close, hide, erase, report use anti-ad software and simply ignore anything that is irrelevant and not providing value or added benefit, and this is because of you. Yes, you! You greedy online PPC advertiser who just cares about numbers. Unfortunately, this greediness has led to a massive wave that discourages users from “clicking the button” and encourages search engines to protect their assets by limiting advertising through a various selection of features to ensure their users will remain online.

In a few years, digital advertising will fade away, and this is because of our greediness. This is because some of us took a beautiful masterpiece and used it as a broadcasting tool instead of delivering real value propositions that build conversations. The Internet is an integrated environment. A replica of “The Real World” that has its own rules and habits. You can’t just simply ignore it.

There is still hope, though. How can you survive these digital battles when your audience rejects you? When your provider shuts you down? And when your client needs proof of return on investment? It’s simple. Be human. Build relationships that last, and communicate with people authentically.

Digital marketing brought us many technological advancements that can create campaigns to the segment of one. If you play your cards correctly, and target the right people at the right time, with the right message, they will respond. But, that’s not where it ends. You don’t just simply communicate an offer. You don’t ask a girl to marry you on the first date. If you want to be successful, you have to work hard, and win a place in their mind and hearts.

Big companies and corporations who want to survive in the evolving digital world should start investing in relationships. Online gaming, entertainment, virtual reality, mobile marketing, programmatic advertising, content marketing and real time marketing are some of the existing tactics that help forward thinkers make a difference.

The next wave of digital professionals will find advertisers and marketers collecting broken pieces, only to regenerate them from the ashes. Banner ads and CPC’s will have no meaning whatsoever. What will actually make sense will be emotions. A powerful word that when used wisely could be potent to create majestic results.

But anyway, this is just my own humble personal opinion.

Demetris is a Digital and Social Media Professional working at DeLeMa McCANN Cyprus, the largest communications agency in Cyprus, part of McCANN WorldGroup. McCann Erickson is recognized as the world leader in “Creating Demand” with operations in over 110 countries.

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