The Problem With “Widget, 5$.”


A few years back, the advertising world was caught up in a debate over the relative values of “Rational” and “Emotional” messaging. Emergent digital targeting data and performance analytics made quick work of the conversation…

…or you’d think so, but that would make too much sense.


There’s a misconception that’s still all too common amongst teams that aren’t up to spec on performance data. This idea is so toxic in part because it means many believe that if they don’t berate the customer, the customer won’t know you’re selling a widget and they won’t know what to do with the information you’re sharing with them.

Don’t get me wrong: strong calls to action are important, they drive results. They promote cohesion. They keep things moving.

But teams who think this way are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to future proofing their marketing program.


For a long time, cross-device performance was a pain to track.

A company might know that you visited a website on a desktop computer. They might also know that later a user made a purchase from a smartphone.

Historically, linking events like those presented a fairly significant challenge.

It’s easy to understand that your messaging isn’t being consumed by your customers in a vacuum, but it’s a lot more difficult to take a leap of faith and trust that a % of the people who see your ad on Facebook will launch a new tab and start looking up additional information about your product or service on Google.

It’s easy to intuit that when someone engages with a Snap that features a product, they’ll have an association with that product when they see it again in a display advertisement.

One very slight adjustment to the way you look at the world can be enough to change everything. The truth is, that cross-device is still out of the budget for a lot of digital marketers. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to stick with the old world, though.


At the end of the day, you’re very likely a native user of many of the platforms that your team uses to promote itself.

You don’t have to grasp for straws to figure out where the balance between “savvy” and “scammy” is, you’ve got to roll your sleeves and start looking for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *