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This Just In – Crowdfunding Marketing is a Mad Waste of Money

To regular readers of this crowdfunding blog it might seem I’m just repeating myself when it comes to my position on paying for crowdfunding marketing and the truth is – I am.

Not intentionally, of course. It’s just that more and more news articles are coming out all of the time intended to educate the public about the billions upon billions of advertising dollars wasted every year on ads that are only ever seen by 60% of actual human beings. The other 40% of living, breathing humans never sees an actual paid ad. Ever.

As it’s clear to see, the picture above is from this past weekend’s edition of The Wall Street Journal. What’s not so clear to the “civilians” in the public relations world, the front page is the prime real estate of the newspaper. Editors and marketing executives agonize, and often engage in verbal combat, when deciding what ultimately lands on page one. When you see an article entitled “Doubts About Digital Ads Rise” on the front page of the world’s top business newspaper it’s time to put down your coffee cup so you don’t spit out your coffee in shock, turn off your phone so you don’t get any interruptions and then hide your wallet so you don’t throw your money away on paying for crowdfunding advertising until you read the article. Then read it over and over again.

Anyone that owns or works for a crowdfunding marketing agency should pick up a bottle of vodka and take a good long drink as they read paragraph one:

“Marketers who have been pouring huge sums into digital advertising are wrestling with several recent events that add to a troubling picture: some are finding they can’t be sure how well that money was spent or what they’ve received in return for it.”

For anyone who makes a living owning or working for a crowdfunding advertising agency this next paragraph will have them ditching the vodka in favor of a bottle of Bacardi 151 or, perhaps, Everclear for the shortcut they need to oblivion. That’s because anyone even thinking of spending a dollar on crowdfunding marketing needs to pay very close attention to this next quote:

“…digital advertising—for all its promise as a way to reach consumers who are tethered to mobile devices and are spending less time on traditional media—has real pitfalls and risks.”

Now this quote is essential reading for anyone and everyone planning on promoting a crowdfunding campaign:

“Marketers are reassessing the level of investment in the digital area because they are beginning to question what they are really getting in terms of the return on investment,” Bob Liodice, chief executive officer of the Association of National Advertisers

In a nutshell: There is absolutely no way you can know how much cash you’ll be throwing away when you use paid ads to promote a crowdfunding project. The only thing you can be sure of is that a good amount of your dollars will die a senseless death.

The article goes on to articulate the most recent faux pas Facebook committed vis a vis their metrics for Facebook video ads. Overall, this powerful piece underscores the very real financial risk everyone faces when making a decision to spend money on digital ads. Yes, crowdfunders too.

My own spirit of journalism forces me to wonder if the advertising rates charged by various digital advertising platforms is somehow tied to marketwide perceived performance and, as a subset of this calculus, the bottom line advertising expenses incurred. In other words, what if the entire cost structure of digital ads overall are flawed based on inaccurate data that doesn’t reflect the realities of ad fraud, ad blockers and now — actual viewership metrics.

Based on everything we’ve published on the subject there’s only one logical conclusion: crowdfunding marketing through paid ads is a huge risk with only one guarantee; that lots and lots of money will be wasted on crowdfunding advertising.

The sensible alternative? Crowdfunding Public Relations. More specifically, Crowdfund Buzz.

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