When is too much of a good thing too much? It is more a perception than reality, but the email fatigue is real.Email concept with laptop ang girl hands

The No. 1 reason people say they unsubscribe from email lists is, “I get too many emails in general,” says a survey by MarketingSherpa, titled the “Customer Satisfaction Research Study (Dec 2016).” That may not seem like a “you” problem since you may feel as if you have no control over the number of emails people receive in a day. Yet it is a real reason people unsubscribe from your emails. The No. 2 reason people unsubscribe is that the emails “are not relevant to me.” That you can control and fix.

What is of more concern is the No. 3 reason, “I receive too many emails from this company specifically.” So how many is too many? I’m not sure anyone has the exact answer. It is somewhere between 1 per week and 1 per month. Relevancy plays a large role and so do many other factors.

According to respondents to the survey, some of the other factors are that emails are “boring, repetitive and always trying to sell something.” A little over 10% believe that emails are too focused on company needs and “not enough on my needs.” Some also said that the emails look too cluttered and sloppy. They also said, “I get emails that don’t look good on my smartphone.”

What can wake up your email campaigns? Try relevancy first, personalized messaging, better design and better targeting. The alarm is sounding.

Google is fighting bad ads. In a report ” How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016,” Google takes credit in a proof-of-performance white paper for keeping the internet open and safe. Stock Photo of Google Headquarters in Mountain View

“Ads play a key role in ensuring you have access to accurate, quality information online, but bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone,” the report stated.

Here are the highlights:

  • Took down 1.7 billion ads that violated Google’s ad policies
  • Outlawed and disabled 5 million payday loan ads
  • Disabled 68 million ad for healthcare violations
  • Took down 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users
  • Detected and disabled 23,000 self-clicking ads
  • Suspended 6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods

Trying to keep the web free and open is not easy. The large numbers of ads provides plenty of proof that it requires sophisticated technology to defeat the scammers. But I’d bet on Google—it has everything to gain and a lot to lose with widespread infiltration of fake advertising.

You are going to see more long videos in your Facebook news feed, according to Business Insider.Hand touch smart phone and ear phone with Video Advertising

Facebook is re-prioritizing longer videos in its News Feed algorithms. The longer video content can include new “mid-roll” ads within the content. So, if Facebook shows a movie, there can be ads inside the movie. Facebook is also considering producing its own original, long-form shows for its mobile app’s video tab.

According to Facebook, it is doing this because it wants to make sure longer videos are not penalized as compared to viewership of short-form videos. Long videos have lower completion rates, but Facebook’s efforts will change how the shortened viewership effects rankings for longer video.

This change is part of a series of upgrades Facebook has made favoring live videos and posts shared by friends rather than publishers. You will not see immediate changes, but you will begin to  see content curators making changes in video length. Who knows, Facebook could be the next Netflix.

We all know that video is the king of the content world. The hard part is knowing what will entice and resonate with viewers. Now that you can use virtually any length, it can be hard to decide what is best. Mobile is also changing the video landscape and your decision-making.Online learning

Google has done a lot of research around best practices for video production. Google’s Unskippable Labs works to test ads to find the best content connection with people. Unskippable Labs did a test with a Netflix launch of “Orange is the New Black” in Singapore. They showed viewers the “Trailer” 30-second TrueView ads (YouTube’s skippable ad format), the “Teaser” ad which was a 15-second TrueView ad, a “Bumper” ad (6-second ads that are non-skippable) and no ads at all for the control group.

All three ads provided product awareness lift. But the Bumper ad provided the best awareness lift. The Teaser ad provided the best overall brand ad recall lift. However, the Bumper provided a 300% lift in search inquiries. So the shortest ad drove the best actions compared to the others.

Google recommends:

  • Tease a brand announcement with Bumper ads
  • Amplify a brand with longer-form videos and Bumper ads for incremental reach
  • Echo a brand by telling a full story with longer videos and re-target with Bumper ads

The Google white paper says, “Now that audiences have access to content anytime, anywhere, prime time has become all the time. This means brands have unprecedented opportunities to connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways.” So make your digital ad in all lengths to ensure you achieve optimized viewing and results.

In 2016, the advertising market grew at nearly 7% over 2015. But that rising tide did not raise all boats.

Last year television, out-of-home and digital saw year-over-year increases. Magazines (-9.1%) and newspapers Man with two chart balancing atop a performance graph(-13.9%) suffered the largest declines. Radio only decreased by 0.5%. Digital increased by more than 13%, television by 4.4% and out-of-home grew by 6.9%. (The percentages were released from Standard Media Index and reported by Marketing Charts.)

There were predictions last year that digital would grow at a rate of 26% or more. This lower growth rate was the result of many larger brands returning to TV. The TV increase was sparked by sports and this trend should continue, with many of the sports contracts locked in for the next 10 to 20 years with broadcast and cable outlets.

The trend lines are obvious: Digital will continue on an upward growth curve although  it is slowing. It’s not so sure for the other media due to lack of sales opportunities or lower results. If you are not using digital, we suggest you allocate at least 25% of your marketing budget to digital and and begin to test. The trend could impact your growth line as well.

In recent research by Barkley and Futurecast (January 2017), it was found that a majority of people prefer to keep it real in advertising.Mature man with a worried and serious facial expression

The “real” means real people. A majority of respondents of all ages said they favor ads that “show real people in real situations.” Nearly 80% of millennials and, surprisingly, 72% of baby boomers agreed with the statement.

People also overwhelmingly agreed with the statement, “I like ads that show real people, not just gender stereotypes from the past.” Not surprisingly, a wide majority of younger people liked seeing ads that show “diverse types of families,” while baby boomers lagged behind with only 48% agreeing with that statement.

This research matches the national trends of people placing their faith in reviews rather than hyperbole. Testimonials may be the oldest form of advertising, but now it is the preferred method of receiving a message—so keep it real when you look for your next talent for that TV ad or sales sheet.

Let me start with, “I don’t know.” It’s my rhetorical question of the day.  My email inbox, my Twitter feed and my Facebook feed are full of graphs, infographics, pie charts and diagrams, but my multiple newspapers are still most gray with copy.statosta-graphic-of-food-from-mexico

The New York Times does have some spectacular graphics in their electronic edition, but they are super complicated to produce and have layers of movement and clickable engagement—hard to produce daily. USA Today does do a good job of visualizing more stories, but limit the charts to one section of each page.

For example, with all the talk about a tax for goods crossing from Mexico to the US, there have been hundreds of articles written, but here is one graph that sums it up better than hundreds of words.

So what’s my point? Well, when you see a media trend in multiple channels that are growing, you go with it. Just like McDonald’s did with breakfast (it was not the first fast-food retailer to offer breakfast). Graphic journalists are helping to tell complicated stories in quick, simple ways. There is still room for a long, well-written article, but for those who don’t want to read the entire article, give them a chart that still communicates. And, graphics will help de-gray your paper and make you look a little more trendy.