Advertising fatigue


Following from my comments yesterday regarding loyalty fatigue, I felt it appropriate to consider advertising fatigue. This continues a series on the “me too” approach to business adopted by many small businesses and independent retailers. Where has original thought gone?

I’ll declare – I am tired of advertising. The TV commercials, ads in newspapers, the billboards, the telemarketers, those awful signs on trailers pulled behind cars and motorcycles, ads at the movies, radio commercials, SPAM, cell phone junk messages. All of this intrusion in my head space annoys me to be point of turning me off the major offenders. What really irks me is the insidious whisper campaigns and the product placement in movies, computer games and now rap songs.

Independent retailers think they have to join in and so you see ads in local papers, billboards on shop walls, posters in the shop. Clutter soon takes over.

Surely we should all be building businesses which offer good products and services backed by such exceptional service that advertising is not necessary.

Independent retailers should claim the GREEN ground. Pursue less noise in advertising. Spend the money on the business. Improve customer service. Make a public statement about the approach. Denominate what you will save in paper, ink and noise in this noise drenched world.

We have opportunities within existing customer traffic and relationships to reinforce business offerings and therefore reduce reliance on advertising. I know this is true in our own software company and our retail newspaper/magazine business. We do better serving existing customers than chasing new owns as it’s the existing customers who point the new customers your way.

From a software perspective we can and should build facilities into our systems to help independent retailers rely less on traditional advertising. Look at the real estate we manage – receipts, screen space, customer displays. We can also structure front line associate/consumer interaction. We can guide up sells. We can also more effectively manage appreciation shown by the business to customers post purchase – through direct mail and other communication mechanisms to show appreciation. All of this for small business without the need to add to what consumers will perceive as advertising noise.

Advertising fatigue is a real phenomenon. We should respond before consumers do.

About the author


I own a software company and a newsagency in Victoria, Australia. You can reach me on +61 418 321 338 or mark[at]

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By Mark