Cell phones are rapidly replacing landlines, making telemarketer dinner interruptions a thing of the past. Over 30 percent of U.S. homes do not have landlines, and with more and more citizens owning cell phones, that number will likely continue to rise.
Advertising revenue has also continued to increase, reaching over $450 billion a year for the past two years. It’s clear that as technology grows, sales tactics are changing to accommodate the diversifying digital needs of our society.
Traditionally, customers have relied upon organizations like the FCC and tools like the National Do-Not-Call List to provide a buffer from advertisements, but as sales tactics transform and bypass these methods of mitigation, customers need to adapt in order to protect their privacy, their wallet and their sanity.
1) You get what you don’t pay for
Consumers should realize that if they are not paying money for a product or service, they unavoidably pay for it by viewing or listening to advertisements. If your expectations as a consumer are set accurately, the amount of frustration from constant advertisements can be significantly reduced or avoided completely. Many phone, tablet and computer apps can be downloaded for free, but advertisements are always included as part of the services these apps provide.
2) Privacy is the exception, not the rule
It’s important to remember that our individual digital footprint can usually be tracked. Privacy policies and user agreements are designed to minimize, if not eliminate, the ability for companies to use customer information for advertising or marketing. Savvy consumers are aware, however, that supposedly protected information still slips through. If you don’t want advertisers to have it, don’t put it online. Some of the most fundamental precautions for keeping your information private include the following:
- Use different passwords for logins on different sites
- Never share account information for any site that requires a login
- Do not click on links in emails from strangers
3) Keep your friends close, but not too close
Advertisements can come from unexpected sources, and as a consumer you should be aware that a Facebook status update or a tweet from someone you know and trust could very well be an endorsed statement used to sway you toward a product, service or company. Everyone knows that the most trusted form of review comes from average users because these ordinary people don’t have any motives to say good or bad things about a company that are not true. As a consumer, this is a useful piece of information when seeking out reviews for potential purchases, but keep in mind that businesses and advertising firms know this as well, and will do what they can to exploit user-generated digital content to make money.
While we may be safe from the traditional channels of advertisement like landline telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen, advertising efforts are only increasing with technology. As consumers we should be aware of them in order to reduce the anxiety and frustration that inevitably follows the bombardment of advertisements we face on a daily basis.
Jeff Jacobsen is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in sales techniques with an enthusiasm for predictive dialing technology.