If there’s one thing marketeers should note from the EU referendum campaigns it’s this: nobody listens to advertising and promotion.
We had massively expensive and media-saturating campaigns by both the Leave and the Remain teams, but did they change a single person’s mindset? Maybe one or two, but not many.
Time and time again, once the results came in, we saw people expressing almost total ignorance about the key facts that should have been important drivers for the nation’s vital decision-making process.
People said they voted Leave because all their mates on social media were saying Leave. Students were saying they voted Remain because all students voted Remain. Old people voted Leave because they still hate the Germans. People in towns with barely any immigration voted Leave because they believed there were too many immigrants in their town.
The ignorance of the real facts was astonishing to some, but not to anyone who really knows what’s what in marketing and advertising.
It’s long been said that changing someone’s mind is the hardest thing to do in marketing. And the referendum showed graphically how resistant the populace is to any information that’s at odds with their currently-held world view.
And with the news and social media channels utterly saturated with Leave/Remain messaging from dawn til dusk, the wilful avoidance of the facts is truly mind-boggling.
If an entire nation can resist campaigns of this magnitude so easily, just consider how hard it is to get your low-budget B2B campaign to hit the bullseye and work its magic.