The New Aviation Advertising World Order
Opinion Editorial written by Jason J. Baker – “451: Unavailable Due To Legal Reasons”. Content denial and forced advertising on steroids. There’s barely a sweet puppy dog video that isn’t heavily monetized. “Want to see it? Watch this ad and provide us with data and information about you, before doing it!”. Barely an article you can read, without agreeing to a myriad of behavior tracking, re-targeting and re-marketing activities. Many apps won’t work without granting access to the most inner sanctums of your mobile device. Homo Sapient appears to love and hate it at the same time. A price we pay for convenience and oftentimes, mediocre content.
The time to change course in how aviation companies advertise their product – and how publishers monetize their content – was a bit over 10 years ago. Thanks to Smart Marketing and Advertising Agencies, we consumers lost the battle. The methods used these days are pretty nasty and aviation isn’t spared from this process. Just as I am typing this, Instagram notifies me of a new game app that is now available. Somewhere, some enterprise just paid good money to advertise a hilariously dumb game to a chronic non-gamer!
Data runs our planet and a big part of how this data and information about “consumers” is being generated goes completely unnoticed by the users of the world wide web. With the cellphone becoming smarter than the human brain, we have listening apps and tools on our devices, which magically require access to hundreds of features on them. Every-time we use a smart phone, data and information is tracked and recorded and then sold to commercial enterprises to “provide better services in the future“. Providing better service NOW is not an option, huh?
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This heavily moaned about General Data Protection Regulation came about with good reason, though. People are becoming increasingly tired of being targeted as “consumers” and people are tired of being treated like money spending cattle. Regulators realized that, in order to see things on the internet, one had to reveal more information than the content was worth, or – simply pay for it. Publishers driven by ad revenue see it the same way. The GDPR caused lots of headaches for publishers – but really only for those who had become a part of the problem.
Rather than complying with the new rules, many publishers and content creators simply went and rid themselves of the privacy intrusion- objecting audience. Its this new way or the highway, translated into English, this means: “You either let us spy on you and sell your data to big business, or we refuse to show you our content!”
But not only content creators are in distress. Many companies have forked their entire public relations efforts over to agencies focused on social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google +, with devastating consequences for small publishers. Many corporate websites, developed for expensive money, are no longer being kept up to date – because — you guessed it — the consumer follows on social media, where reaching the “truly meaningful” number of consumers is a matter of $20.00 for a boosted post – at the expense of privacy and dignity. Moving to social is lucrative for ad agencies and firms which offer social media management services. I offer these services too, albeit organically – but the competition cashes in big time on Facebooks constantly changing algorithms.
Rapidly Declining Attention Span
Google confirms what I have been preaching for nearly 10 years. The average time a user spends on Google+ hosted content is less than 5 seconds. On Facebook and Instagram the time during which the average user interacts visually (not mentally, not clicking or reading!) with the content is less than half of that. Aren’t we all leading busy lives and have to spend our time wisely? Google is in trouble, because users frequently select NOT to share too much data and they make choices about what data they share, where. At least with Google you CAN have that sort of influence over what you share. With Facebook, things look much different.
With lawmakers making the collection of data more difficult, the true motivation behind free content shows its face, quickly. Facebook and others will capitalize on the Google + phase-out in a big way. Before too long, Facebook users will experience a very different platform. These days, you barely get to see the pages you follow, you get to see advertising – for page managers this means that reaching (y)our Likers and followers becomes a matter of throwing money at Facebook.
Companies will soon see paid social media reach decline and increased budgets falling short. More ads will appear, more notifications nobody needed will pop up and eventually, those who use the networks will be made of glass for those who are paying through the nose to capture their attention and digest their data. Eventually, users hate the platform more than they love it – because it becomes increasingly impersonal. In September 2018, Dakota Shane wrote this excellent piece, highlighting the fact that Facebook and other social media giants are loosing users in droves.
How about having an “Image Promo Partner” with no clue about aviation or its inner workings representing an aviation company? Sounds very funky, but its reality already. I recently completed a string of communication with an aviation firm without exchanging a single word with someone working in that company. I have the boss of aviation manufacturing firms refer me straight off to their marketing agency, many can’t even tell you where their ad dollars are sunk.
Independent Publishers Are At Risk!
Unbeknownst to the “Like” pushing social media user, small publishing outlets are struggling. How can I tell? I run one! Seaplanemagazine.com is foremost a publishing business which depends on advertising revenue and sponsorships or subscription income to exist and grow. The revenue required to run this site, attend events and increase our editorial coverage is extremely difficult to secure in the aviation industry, because – by and large – our industry submits to status quo, is bogged down by politics or blind and deaf towards new things. We invest in China, seek picture opportunities, select influencers and go with the flow when and where possible – all for the artificial popularity we gain through the various social media channels. Facebook, the only place on earth where your expensive aircraft competes with Nancy’s pictures of the grand kids.
Facebook & Co. do nothing for aviation and further relying on it as the sole means to connect with Joe Public will backfire tremendously. By the time companies notice that the ship is sinking, only the fewest of the small publishing outlets will still be around. Whoops, I have to go – Facebook just notified me of a new private message. Its from a company which thinks I should be reached and converted to a money spender…
Jason Baker works as a freelance writer and marketing & advertising consultant. He holds a commercial pilot certificate (SEL/SES/MEL), instrument rating as well as advanced & instrument ground instructor certificates. Jason is the owner & managing editor of Seaplanemagazine.com. For more information about consulting services offered, click on Consulting & Services. Advertising spots for 2019 are being offered now. If your company wishes to appear here in 2019, the time to get in touch is now.