Delivered daily: Lost opportunities (more advertising)

Reading time: 2 minutes

I write about B2B communications, business models and technology behaviors. Thank you for being here. Read more about me here. Register for this site here.


Really, I’m not against all advertising.

I do believe there is some good that comes from advertising…

I must say I wouldn’t go as far as saying all advertising is worthless (we have ads at the bottom of our emails a few times a week, including this one). At American Apparel, nothing was more rewarding than using our advertising budget to support causes like legalizing gay marriage or immigration reform. We also deliberately sought out publications that we believed were doing important work, that we felt contributed to the scene or the community–we put our money there, knowing that in addition to reaching people about our products, we were also helping that publication survive or thrive.

However, I don’t believe that ‘good’ has anything with driving performative outcomes or connecting folks with other folks.

And in the B2B world, that’s what matters most.

Paths forward

As someone who owns a budget, whether a small one for this site or a much larger one for a B2B technology organization, the part about advertising that kills me is the outcomes.

(Brand or corporate advertising is different. See the quote above.)

When it comes to developing and enriching relationships–remember, there are human beings on the other side of your ad–there’s nothing better than getting two (or more) people in a room to have a conversation.

From the same article (see Sources below), it’s this passage where I feel it the most…

Someone gets shown an ad and buys something, that’s great. But the people who get shown an ad and do nothing? What a lost opportunity! What a waste of their time and yours. It’s nice for the ego to get profiled in some publication…but it is quickly forgotten.

How are ads driving to get folks in front of other folks?

If it’s my role to develop business, through events, marketing, services positioning, etc., how are ads developing business?

Subscribe to read all free articles by email, or become a member and read all articles by email or web.

Building something

I like the idea of taking those resources–money, labor, creativity, etc.– and building something that lasts longer than a passing advertisement.

There are so many more cost-efficient, FUN ways to find and connect your business with others.

Start a blog. Start an email newsletter. Start a webinar. Start an event.

These types of initiatives cost money and labor and creativity, however that cost is a fraction of what is being spent on ads today.

And, there’s an actual return.

If we plan ahead for each of those examples, we can then use those assets in many future communications.

Rinse and repeat.

Then look back and see your success in building things that matter.


At some point I’ll get off the advertising-is-bad soapbox.

However, I think we’re now on the verge of doing something different. Soemthing new.

Something better.

  • Maybe it’s reconstructing what advertising is
  • Maybe it’s a realization of what advertising does
  • Maybe it’s a better understanding of how advertising works for me

There’s something happening.

And I want to document that feeling today so I can look back on it in a few days, weeks, months, years to see if something did change.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. If you find this article valuable, please consider sharing it with a friend or colleague. Feel free to comment below. New readers can sign up here.


Brought to you by Smartr Daily, the essential newsletter for curious minds. Thought-provoking ideas and insights are delivered straight to your inbox daily. Sign up for free!

One response to “Delivered daily: Lost opportunities (more advertising)”

Please Login to Comment.