Advertising is Dead', or certainly in need of some emergency life-support, Digital Has Already Disrupted Advertising and now the Whole Model Has Started To Fray

At first, digital offered CMOs a new and exciting way to advertise, introducing real-time measurement and accountability. But behind the scenes, digital and social media in particular has slowly introduced alternatives to do many of the things that advertising used to do for us. 

Advertising used to be a necessary way to reach out to buyers. Today, digital still provides advertising, but it can also cut out the advertising middleman altogether. Half of what Amazon sells comes from thousands of other companies. 

Ads were the default mechanism for communicating product feature, availability, and pricing information. Not any longer. 

This is the underpinning of the age of the customer: Consumers now have as much or even more information about products and services than companies do. Thanks to Facebook reviews, online comments, YouTube unboxing videos, Linkedin discussions and Twitter rants, consumers don’t need advertising to tell them what a product does, where to get it, or how much it should cost. Ads can do this. But they are no longer required.

Why is this?

The growth in the free to use Social Media landscape continues to alter the way prospects and consumers interacts with brands and competitors, as a result we have all become social detectives and we're more than happy to share, discuss and involve our peer groups our findings and opinions. We are all looking for 'Social Proof' and we are extremely active.

Currently, adults spend 45-minutes-a-day on social media. Expect that number to keep rising.

Furthermore, consider the following social media statistics:

– 26% of Facebook users like using the site to search for new purchases– 73% of customers report that social media is part of their shopping process– 55% of shoppers purchase after discovering an item on social media

Consumers now have options for getting what they want without interruptions. Interruptions have worked for a while now and still do in the digital age. 

Google made $79.4 billion last year by interrupting search results; Facebook made $26.9 billion in ad revenue by interrupting social interactions. 

But interruption only works if consumers spend time doing interruptible things on interruption-friendly devices

Once they can get what they want without leaving themselves open to interruptions, whether through voice interfaces or AI-driven background services — they will feel even more hostile to ad interruptions than they claim to be today.

So, if you still think that 'Social Media' is for posting pictures about your holiday, Auntie Julie's tea party, the Dogs latest trick, or trying to ram your product advert in front of people who don't really want to see it then maybe you should ping me a note - Because it's much, much bigger than that.