It’s important to note the difference between real long term changes and short term flukes.  Just like it is important to know the difference between a new trend and something that is historically predictable.

Since I write about advertising, media and marketing, I’ll limit this article to those subjects.

A couple of stories I read this month inspired this.  One was claiming that the new trend in 2018 would be to tell the truthThis is not a trend.

Telling the truth is what often makes the difference between a short term fluke and long term success.

The Human Relationship Principles that I often talk about that we need to apply to our marketing and advertising starts with Truth Telling.  Telling the truth builds trust.  And as humans, we want to trust the people we are dealing with and the products and services we spend money on, are of value, at least as much value as we are spending our money on.

Next week, I’m going to share a recent experience I had buying a new car and how trust and value played a critical part in my purchase.

But back to today’s topic, another story I read showed survey results of peoples reactions to advertising in general.  The survey was conducted last year with several thousand people from 45 countries across the world.  This bothers me a bit because the results can be skewed when you include so many various conditions.  Some countries allow more advertising than others and perhaps some have had increases due to changes in regulations.   Here in the United States alone, advertising regulations are different from state to state.

So as I share these numbers, remember that there are too many variables to make this a trend.

4 out of 5 people surveyed say Ads Are Appearing In More Places compared to 3 years ago.

This next stat is probably closer to the truth.

3 out of 4 people said I See More Advertising Now compared to 3 years ago

Also a majority of those surveyed said that Ads Are More Intrusive compared to 3 years ago.

Here’s what is most likely going on:

As digital technology evolves and we in the digital marketing world can now deliver ads targeted to the people we want to see those ads, those folks are noticing.  The ads were always there but they weren’t as relevant as they are now.   Our brains tuned them out.  At least that’s one theory of mine.

Besides digital ads stalking us, we also become much more aware of certain things around us when our lives change.  Years ago, when I bought a Mercedes, I started noticing other Mercedes on the road.  Same thing when I bought my last car from Honda.  We become more aware of things that were there all the time, but we didn’t notice.

Two more items about advertising from the survey.

Advertising Now Fits Together Better Across Different Formats and Ads Tell Better Stories Now compared to 3 years ago.

Not everyone agreed with that last one however, because 36% felt that Ads Are Now More Confusing.

The information here is not surprising.  It is mostly likely a combination of changes that I mentioned and also our own perceptions.  And as we try and remember what advertising was like 3 years ago, our own view and memory is skewed and faulty.

Which brings me full circle back to my other point.  Tell The Truth in all your advertising and marketing.  That is not a trend, it’s the only way you should be operating.