Curtis is an Accounting coordinator at Vovia. He loves music, sports and family and when not crunching numbers, he’s up for telling or hearing good jokes, enjoying a refreshment with friends and family and taking the family dog, Lucy, for a good long walk.

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Thinking Different – A Consumer’s Look from Inside a Media Agency

When I joined Vovia, I was thrust into the fast-paced world of marketing and advertising. Prior to this, my experience with the media industry amounted to watching commercials on TV and seeing billboards driving around the city. Most of my working career experience has been in the accounting and banking fields. So why am I writing a blog about marketing and media? Good question! I thought it might be interesting to offer some insight into what preconceived notions I had about marketing and advertising, especially in this digital age. After reflecting on my many learnings, I wanted to offer a view of how advertisers can be there to make our lives easier and help to save time when it comes to purchasing products or services.

Neon lights spelling - Think about things differently.

I’m Loving It. The Breakfast of Champions. Just do it. Where’s the Beef? Think Different.

These advertising slogans were the extent of our exposure and knowledge of the power of marketing for many of us at one time. Advertisers were trying to find the next catchphrase that would be repeated by the paying public. As we moved into the 21st Century, we have the addition of the digital online experience. The focus here is to have a creative campaign that first catches your eye, and not your ears, like slogans once did. Of course, like any business, they are trying to have you spend money on their offerings, however, that should not be the only way we look at it.

Why should I pay attention, what’s in it for me?

Most of us move so fast in our lives, we often do not take the time to appreciate things around us and the ways in which they can enrich our lives. I realized that media and marketing is one we often underutilize because we might be quick to pass over the message. When we are on social media sites or surfing the internet, we are often caught up in only what we are doing, and we miss things that are right in front of us. We may miss out on new products or great deals and dismiss a banner advertisement while we are online. I used to be one of those! However, I now see it in a different light after being exposed to the other side. The reality is these targeted approaches, which are of course trying to sell you something, whether a product or service, are really taking your activity into account to show what might interest you. If we take the time to look through these ads and offers, we may find so much more that is useful to us, in our everyday lives.

Online Ads & Privacy

People nowadays have concerns about their privacy on online platforms and how their information might be used for targeted advertising. This is also a major point of focus for the advertising industry itself, and one of the reasons there is a shift to focusing more on first-party data. I also used to share these concerns. I then realized that all my “complaining” might have been  of my own doing. There are privacy settings and advertising settings on most sites that can limit some of this and I never bothered to even investigate. Users have the ability to control a lot of their privacy settings, but it’s also incumbent on advertisers to ensure they are being responsible with any customer information and are following the latest privacy regulations. 

Considering this, it was not really privacy I was worried about but rather the perceived inconvenience of advertising. What I have come to realize is that the digital advertising that is all around us is informative to help us and even save us time. By taking the time to engage with some of the marketing I was exposed to and answering the questions about “was this helpful”, I have actually seen and engaged with  ads that I have used to make purchases (instead of me having to do a bunch of research). It all came to me directly. That is not to say that all advertising will be something you need at any particular moment, but having businesses ‘come to you’ can make things easier and become a big time saver when you are making purchases or looking for a service at a later date. When you are ready to purchase it will save you precious time and also the stress of trying to figure out where to find something, whether it is a new banking product, a computer or a new place to eat. Taking my bias out of it I have realized that these ads, although not always relevant in the moment, are there for me to become aware of possibilities. Not really a bad thing at all, just one that we need to take the time to digest. 

Working within a media agency has given me a newfound respect for what advertising is trying to accomplish for its intended audience. It really comes down to us, as consumers, taking the time and having the patience to give the message an opportunity. Personally, I have recently benefited from paying more attention to ads online. From a sale on outdoor furniture at IKEA to a sweet deal on a pizza night, I would have never saved the money I did, or found what I was looking for with ease, without having paid attention to what was being offered directly in front of me. I would suggest taking the time to “smell the roses” and not be in such a hurry to run from an advertisement. You never know what you might find.