Companies often stress the importance of consistency—a consistent image, voice, strategy, etc. Countless models and presentations have been created to help brands maintain continuity. But, does consistency really equal success? It certainly can for things like product quality or customer service. When it comes to the world of marketing, however, consistency is overrated and overused. This issue is most apparent in the digital space, where print and TV campaigns are routinely repurposed as banner ads and pre-roll videos. Compounding the problem, marketers often duplicate digital ads across sites that have little in common with one another, ignoring the fact that consumers behave differently as they move around online. New disciplines and technologies have emerged, giving the industry unprecedented ways to reach consumers. Digital advertising should reflect these changes and inspire brands to be flexible, schizophrenic even. An argument could be made that no two ads should ever be the same. To achieve this, the industry must embrace a new order of advertising—one that champions inconsistency. One where publishers and agencies work together to create custom marketing content. Where ads for Heineken can’t be replicated as ads for BudLite. Where consumers experience advertising that is inextricable from the place where they are experiencing it. And where the goal is not to keep a brand on track, but to create unique experiences that compel consumers to engage on a deeper level.
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