Banksy

To Defy the Laws of Tradition

Back in the 1970s, the average person saw only 500 ads each day. Today, that total is closer to 5,000. Today’s consumers are much more savvy than newspaper readers from previous decades, especially when inundated with brand messages. They know what they want to give their time and attention to.

Potential customers are actually incredibly adept at determining the authenticity and overall legitimacy of ads they see online. People are careful not to click on things that sound too good to be true. And they’re turned off entirely by brand messages that objectify the user as nothing more than a customer.

With traditional marketing, like print ads and radio advertisements, you get what you get. Like a classic Norman Rockwell painting, each viewer conveys the same basic gaze and though his or her direct response may differ, everyone sees the same general form. Rockwell’s style is consistent from illustration to illustration.

With digital marketing, there’s still a lot of learning going on at the front lines. What works in the digital space today might not work tomorrow. Last month, Facebook updated its Newsfeed algorithm to prevent businesses from huckstering up the Newsfeeds of their fans. Tomorrow, a brand new platform will start building up steam. That’s why it’s important to pay attention – so you know how to get the most exposure for your brand.

We’ve all heard radio commercials that sound the same, and seen print ads that lack creativity or a discernible call to action. It seems like a lot of advertising is homogenous. And in recognizing this, it can be valuable to pull a lesson or two from world-renowned vigilante street artist Banksy when it comes to your company’s digital marketing efforts.

One of the most remarkable things about British graffiti artist Banksy is the way his (or her) works become iconic solely based on word of mouth. In social media, this is known as virality. Many of Banksy’s original pieces are only seen live in person by a few hundred or thousand people. It’s online that that the pieces take on a life of their own, and are shared by people around the world.

With digital marketing, it’s important to create a unique way for users to experience your brand message. Through social media, even if two customers see the same ad image and copy, there are potentially myriad different reasons why each person saw what they did, when they did – not unlike how Banksy’s work is circulated.

Banksy, whose identity to this day remains shrouded in mystery, gives us yet another startling parallel between street art and digital marketing. Those who do it best do it largely in anonymity. With street artists it’s because in many cases they’re breaking a law (or several), but with digital marketers it’s because the real value lies beyond what the typical social media user can see or do. Most anyone can write a Facebook status update and click ‘Post,’ but it takes a true professional like the experts at GrowthWeaver to get that post in front of eyes that will truly care about and act on the message.