Issue #115

Use this while you still can (7 of 10)

Last week, I mentioned a possibility. A possibility that, one day, we’d need to have express permission from people in order to advertise to them.

See, in case you hadn’t noticed…. people hate advertising. 🙂

You know what else people hate? Their privacy being “violated” in order to advertise to them. It doesn’t matter if it is a browser cookie or a Facebook like, people really don’t like the stuff they feel is private being used to advertise to them. Yes, even if they agreed to it.

They hate the clutter. They don’t like feeling violated.

And so it isn’t without merit to think that… someday… we’ll be in a situation where we have to have people approve us to see our ads. Whether it is retargeting, interest-based, etc.


We just don’t rely on ads.

See, I think one of the most important things you need to keep in mind as you grow your business is to build up PERMISSION driven audiences. In other words, a group of people who WANT to hear from you because you’ve earned their attention.

Yesterday, I talked about OWNING your own assets (like your email list). But, now I’m talking about the RELATIONSHIP.

It is the only way you’ll win the ads war. Advertisers have gotten ridiculously aggressive and it pisses people off. So, now you see browsers clamping down on privacy with built-in ad blocking and other things. And, you’re going to see Facebook clamp down, too, with the lengths to which advertisers can go. The Cambridge Analytica thing is just more proof.

As the old saying goes… people will do business with people (and brands) that they know, like and trust.

You build that, they’ll be OK with your marketing to them.

This business of being able to retarget people… or easily target people based on interests and all that… it isn’t going to last forever. Use it while you can.

Look at TV for proof.

It used to be that we all had broadcast TV. We were forced to watch the commercials so we could watch our programming. Right?

Then, Tivo happened. Suddenly, people were fast forwarding through commercials.

Then, Netflix happened. Now… screw TV! You can watch what you want, when you want, on your terms. No commercials. Cutting the cord is becoming more popular. Hell, I haven’t had cable TV in at least 2 years now! Don’t miss it AT ALL!

It’s gonna happen to the internet, too.

People will pay for a commercial free experience. That’s Netflix. Or Amazon Prime. Or Youtube Red.

But, as the content provider, you now need to earn their attention.

So, use every means at your disposal while it is easy. Paid ads. Retargeting. All of it. But, the whole time… keep your eye on the ball of building up OWNED MEDIA. Build those email lists. Build those communities.

And, yes, even tho you don’t own them, build those Youtube subscribers, fans, podcast listeners, etc.

Because all of it is your right to have their attention. Attention you’re not paying for. Attention you can still get even as the ads get more expensive and harder.

And yes… build your blog as the hub of it all.

When you own the hub (or as James Schramko calls it… owning the race course)… then you call the shots. You keep a solid relationship with your community. You help them… and they help you.

And it’s a beautiful thing.

But, you earn it. By providing value and making their life better, you earn permission. And then you don’t need the gatekeepers and the toll collectors.

Don’t get me wrong. Internet advertising isn’t going to go anywhere. But, it will evolve as the end user takes more control. Right now, things are much freer for people running paid ad campaigns than they will be later. So, use it while you can to build up that owned media. Before it gets harder.

– David

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