My laptop, mug and mobile. Everywhere in my office space, I see branded content. Go outside and it just becomes even more overwhelming. Anywhere you look, you’re likely to see an ad. Maybe more than your eye and brain are capable of processing.

Ten years ago the market research firm, Yankelovich, estimated that a person living in a city saw about 5.000 ad messages a day. That’s one ad every 20 seconds, 24 hours a day. Though that number seems very high it’s hardly a surprise that in today’s society we’re being bombarded with corporate content.

For years many marketers have tried to solve the challenge of increasing competition for the attention of consumers by using the same tool: A megaphone. In order to cut through the noise many businesses have decided to speak louder and to push out more content. But what the marketplace needs and consumers want is not more content. On the contrary. People are looking for better content.

According to the global analysis, Meaningful Brands, 84% of people expect brands to produce content. Yet 60% of all content created by brands is poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver.

Content distributed by marketers is underperforming to such an extent that much of what is now produced could be deemed irrelevant. The ad obesity consumers are experiencing might also partly explain why the views of everyday people are now considered as credible as seasoned experts in their field, according to Edelman Trust Barometer.

Luckily, there is a cure and many marketers are taking the medication. Digitization has made it possible to tailor and target your messaging to consumers with laser-like precision. An omnichannel presence means that companies can use different communication options for different outlets thereby increase relevance.

Perhaps most importantly though, marketers have realised that a brand is no longer defined by companies but rather by consumer experiences. This also explains why online customer reviews are playing an increasing role in brand building and growth. With almost with as many as 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 60% of all UK consumers using the internet to conduct research online before making a purchase.

So it’s time that all marketers wake up and focus on what truly adds value for consumers. ‘Helpful’ brands stand a far greater chance of resonating. Those who haven’t realised this risk being left behind.


By Alan Duncan, European marketing director at Trustpilot

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at

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