Are Clicks Killing Your Digital Marketing (3 of 3)

We have come to the last of our series on the impact of clicks on digital marketing and how they are limiting the effectiveness of your advertising.

We have reviewed the digital path and the degradation of advertising effectiveness as consumers are pushed through a gauntlet of clicks. (Part 1) We then reviewed the impact on cost this gauntlet has and new metrics to better assess digital marketing effectiveness. (Part 2)

In part 3, we look at the technical evolution of the internet and how this evolution is creating new solutions that reimagine consumer engagement and rescue our advertising dollars from a perpetual decline of effectiveness.

A History Lesson

So what has changed? Go back just 20 years and the internet was largely a collection of private servers hosting content organized on websites connected by links. To navigate the internet involved the sourcing of links and then the visitation of a website to consume the content and information available.

To be a successful website you had to get your link widely distributed and make certain your content was compelling so consumers would “bookmark” your site. It wasn’t long before search engines made the sourcing of links and the indexing of content easier, making the internet much more convenient to navigate. Still winning involved being better than the next guy at getting your link high on the first page of the search results page. It was still about linking and content.

Then things changed. In 2006 AWS was founded and private servers began to give way to the cloud. Content was no longer stored on individual servers but within a shared database. Perhaps even more importantly, in 2000, the API (Application Programming Interface) was invented by Roy Fieldings. This invention quickly stitched together databases and allowed information and content to be easily transported from one application to the next, from one location on the internet to another.

Fast forward to 2011, voice search APIs began to emerge and change the way consumers search for and interact with content. Voice search adoption today is outpacing all the technical innovations before it, including the cellphone. Accelerated by the mass adoption of the smartphone these technical innovations have together dramatically changed the way content and information are stored, accessed, shared, and presented.

What does this history lesson have to do with digital advertising? One word, everything!

The paradigm of digital marketing today is that we start with a click on an ad, which links to a website to search for content, providing the content is compelling enough we are then asked to contact the advertiser. All of this happens within silos, the ad, the website, web pages within the site, and contact options presented on the page. It's a sales funnel built with bridges between the steps rather than seamless steps through the funnel. These bridges are friction points that slow the consumers’ journey, and often break, ending the consumer’s journey all together.

And yet, as we referenced before, all these stops along the consumer journey are hosted in the cloud, all are sourcing content via APIs, and often these sites are visited via mobile devices with their own built in contact options. So why all the friction?

Because today’s digital advertising is largely built within the context of the internet as it once was. That is our digital marketing is organized to take consumers to information on a website, rather than deliver information to the consumer where they are. It is time to invert that paradigm.

Now the good news. Many companies are now focused on changing that paradigm, on removing the friction, by utilizing AI to source content on demand, connect consumers to the content creators directly, all originated with the first click, creating a seamless sales funnel.

At inSearchX we share that mission. To that end, we have developed an “Open Dialog Advertising” platform branded, “AskOtto”. It takes Ad technology and combines it with a dialog platform much like Slack. It is designed to engage consumers, in market auto shoppers, no matter where they are found, online, on the lot, via email or direct mail and so on. With the first click the consumer begins the journey through the sales funnel, with each consumer step leading to the next along the path to purchase but all within a single, conherient, compelling and unified experience. Converting clicks into conversations about cars. This experience can be customized by the auto merchant and the volume of consumers in the funnel may be amplified to meet the desired sales goals.

Further, because the funnel is a seamless and unified process, the market, consumer, and marketing data available is unprecedented, in turn enabling further optimization.

Finally, via our various media partners a qualified and consistent audience is directed through the funnel creating an always on sales pipeline.

Today the internet is one massive database, hosted in the cloud, and connected via APIs. This infrastructure evolution is providing new technologies to connect with consumers, and provide consumers a more fluid and friction free ecommerce experience.

Is your company prepared for this change in consumer advertising and engagement? What are you doing today to take advantage of these new accelerated and amplified sales funnels? What experiments are you running to explore and learn how this change in online digital marketing can accelerate your sales and reduce your cost of sale?

This ends our three part series. I invite everyone to reach out to me at, or visit to explore step one of our platform. All feedback is welcome. Talk to you soon!