Give Me Something To Believe In

Did you know that nearly half of all Internet traffic today is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot.

What’s a bot? Well, it’s a software program designed to do one very specific thing—impersonate a human being. Some are so sophisticated in their multi-level behaviors, they can fool the software designed to find and filter out the bots, which is kinda like bot on bot crime. And this is all done to inflate audience numbers so sites can charge more for advertising — oh you knew the money was gonna be a part of this somewhere, didn’t you?

Now in the glorious profession of marketing and communications, we’re all about reaching and building relationships with people. We have no interest in bots. And we have no interest in bots acting like people. We’d just like the people, thank you.

Heres a good stat from Facebook for you. FB claimed that 75 million people watched at least a minute of Facebook Watch videos every day — though, as Facebook admitted, the 60 seconds in that one minute didn’t need to be watched consecutively. Real videos, real people, fake minutes. Because people do not watch portions of a minute of videos and add them up.  It kinda messes up the story, you know?

Traffic isn’t the only fake thing out there. Instagram this week reported more fake followers, fake profiles and fake metrics. Twitter shut down more than one million fake accounts designed to fake follow real brands and people. Sheesh!

Today in marketing we have more data and more metrics than at any time in my career, yet I trust those metrics much less.  Mainly because of all of the fake traffic and the bots.  So how do we REACH actual people in 2019 and beyond?

1. Make YOUR message all about THEM — I don’t know about bots, but people are REALLY into themselves and the stuff that’s going on with them, their needs, wants, desires, dreams. etc.  
2. Help THEM get what THEY want — Again, the nuances of marketing these days should be about connecting the hero (your customers) with the things they need.  
3. Get someone else (besides you) to carry the message — the media or influencers are a great place to start.  When you find a channel that your audience trusts, see if you can get them to tell your story.  

And yes, I’ve just described modern public relations. Great message, great delivery, great measurement. Repeat as needed until you retire or the bots take over everything and enslave our race. After walking the halls of CES, don’t worry, it’s coming. We had a good run.  🙂

The real people are out there and they WANT to connect with brands and believe in brands–for their reasons, probably not ours. And WE want to believe we’re reaching them. Maybe just maybe there’s something real out there after all.