“Sign up for my Newsletter and get this free E-Book, Article, etc.” Every day we are bombarded with advertising riding high on the something for “Free” marketing wave. Products and giveaways for free, automated services, such as video tutorials, for free. By now everybody has been accustomed to having and expecting everything to be free, not realizing that this is just a revolving door, where the marketer is coming through the backdoor and asking for your personal data and money. What is annoying about this pandemic form of advertising is that it creates a lot of noise, aka information overflow, which throws people either off track or into constant distraction losing focus of what is important in life = real connection with real people!
A result of this type of advertising is the following phenomenon:
- shortened attention span (on average people cannot carry a meaningful conversation anymore as they are hooked to the constant alerts of their digital devices)
- erosion of memory as brainwaves are constantly interrupted and no proper thought process can be formed
- everybody is now a self-proclaimed expert on something, without getting deep into a matter
- people drown in information overload and in the end are even bored because they continously expect something better or more
- people lose interest in developing solid personal relationships and rather become slaves to technology
- even quality information is being used in inflationary terms and is no longer valued as quality
- many people cannot discern what is quality as everything is infused with highly dominant advertising constantly popping into people’s faces and grabbing our focus and attention.
We are living in a world of massive information overload and total distraction 24/7/365. Every company nowadays – no matter what business they are in – seems to believe that the going mantra is to entice people into giving them their email address, and preferably more data in exchance for some freebee, and then bombard them with daily messages filled with advertising and newsletters with sometimes little information value. In the good old days, a newsletter was sent on a monthly basis, but nowadays everybody believes that newsletters should be sent on a daily basis. Quite a few marketers have adopted the obnoxious practice of sending multiple messages and reminders on a daily basis. Most people do not have the time to read all of this information, let alone decide what is quality information, and what is advertising junk, disguised as advertorials.
Understand the Psychology behind the word “FREE”. All of the stuff that is given away for free has only one purpose, which is tricking the mind into “we got a great deal” and then we sign up for paid programs and services. Due to the hefty overload of all this free reading and listening material, people are reduced to scanning the products and hardly get into real action in ordinary reality to make the necessary steps towards changing their life, as that would involve the ability to reflect and implement.
Many people sign up for paid subscriptions and then lose either interest or cannot keep up with all of what’s being offered online because of the sheer volume, and it seems to be multiplying by the minute. And if one successful model has been established – e.g. the mushrooming concept of Online-Summits, where a multitude of experts are offering their free advice on all topics you can possibly imagine, but then people are supposed to buy the product (congress package on DVD) as nobody can actually keep up watching all of this free stuff, while it’s aired for free (usually 24 hours). Quite a bit of the material presented is of excellent quality indeed, but the real catch with this information overload is that people get hooked into listening and scanning information but do not have enough time left to get into action or end up in analysis paralysis.
So where is the Middle Way? Is this the presence and future of Marketing? Seems so. All the more important that we need to learn to discern what is true, inspiring and relevant information that makes our lifes better and what is just a spin-off of something else. A copy of a copy of a copy…
A lot of service providers are downgrading their products with huge discounts they are offering. So either a product is really worth USD 100 or 1,000 or whatever the price tag may be, or it’s only worth half (or whatever the discount offered may be). There is a general template everybody seems to be following. Advertising is now listing all the benefits in endless scroll down menus blatantly presented as advertorials and telling people how much they “save” by buying xyz product for 50% off (of course, “offer is only valid today”!). This is actually a highly manipulative marketing gimmick feeding on the “hurry don’t miss out on this opportunity” global marketing frenzy.
In the esoteric realms, competition among service providers seems to be getting more fierce every day too, competing for an audience that is to be attracted to online-webinars. The industry is overbidding each other by offering similar programs online, either by adding more bonuses (that very few people ever get around to read or watch – irrespective of content and quality) or more/higher discounts accompanied by grand promises about how our lives are magically being transformed if we only sign up for this webinar and preferably a life-long membership for something.
So all the more we need to learn to make appropriate choices with the limited time we have. And once we find valuable content, it is important to be fully present while watching a program to take in the information and preferably make notes, so you can act upon it later. But reality is that many people are jumping from one program to the next without incorporating any of the advice given, or quickly forgetting much of what they supposedly have learnt. In many cases a real life coach would make much more of a difference, as the relationship is personal and improvements can be measured and felt immediately and are lasting.
So for me, I like a combination of both formats online and real world personal contact. Yet, I have to say that I only learnt my lessons in life through real life application and that also involves a lot of inward reflection until new habits are formed. Just jumping from one online-program to the next, without properly implementing anything, is actually a waste of life time! Accumulation of knowledge and data only serves us when we incorporate the essence and wisdom into our daily life.
So pick wisely, what you spent your time on and make an effort to incorporate new wisdom immediately, whenever you find it, or start a habit of keeping a journal or database of new insights to refer to when you have more time to dwell on it.