Have you noticed how much more intrusive the ads on your mobile phone and desktop are getting? Pop-ups are back, and now the advertiser will not let you get back to your game of Words with Friends (or whatever) until you’ve first overdosed on advertising. And what about the ads that start playing music or speaking from somewhere on a webpage, inevitably difficult to find and turn off, especially when everyone in your open-plan office is glaring at you?
Interruption marketing is the marketing we baby boomers grew up with: the TV ad that interrupts your program, or the commercial on the radio. Today, it’s the pop-up that interrupts your browsing, the video ad that launches whether or not you ask it to.
Dinosuars still roam the earth
Yes, interruptive marketing is a perjorative term coined by author, marketing expert and legendary blogger, Seth Godin. His contention is that interruption marketing is dead. Today, leading companies are moving to permission marketing.
Does anybody still think this approach to marketing works? They sure do, as a quick search of the net shows.
Content marketing belongs in the permission marketing camp.
Permission marketing is about giving your customers lots of reasons to like you – such as providing great content about the ideas, products and issues that matter to them – and then offering them opportunities to buy from you. Relationship comes first, then the business transaction.
Here are five good reasons why Seth Godin is right, in reverse order:
5. More horrible than a rude dinner guest
Ever been out to dinner with a loudmouth who thinks you don’t agree with them? They make their point in a louder and louder voice until the only thing on your mind is getting away as fast as you can. Interruption marketing is like that. Do you want to be known as the pushy brand that doesn’t listen and everyone wants to get away from?
The websites that host interruptive ads are so confident that you hate them. They use it to drive you to buy their premium, ad-free offer, and they assume you’ll pay money to end the interruptions.
4. This study proved people don’t buy from brands using interruption marketing
A 2011 study, designed to measure the impact of interruptive advertising on consumers’ willingness to pay for products bearing the advertiser’s brand, found that this kind of advertising lowered people’s willingness to pay for goods associated with brands that used this advertising strategy.
I cannot make this study number one on my list, however. Although its methods look reasonable, and it was conducted by academics, it is copyrighted by an organisation, Marketing Edge, with a big stake in the digital marketing arena and a history in direct marketing.
3. Choice. Customers trump brands, unless …
Brands no longer call the shots in any business transaction. That belongs to the old days when we had a supply economy, according to Rick Kash, the founder and chairman of The Cambridge Group. Kash argues we live in a demand economy where the consumer has the upper hand in business transactions because the web arms them with more information about the product or service they are interested in than your sales staff. The global availability of products can also drive down prices.
To win in the marketplace today, companies must understand their customers as well, or better, than customers understand themselves.
Old-style ads are all about telling customers features and benefits. But customers no longer believe that brands are honest. They trust information from other customers, independent media or bloggers with nothing to gain or lose from the transaction.
You interrupt them, they go somewhere else.
2. Follow the money
The study of midmarket and large companies found seven in 10 respondents believe content marketing is the key to their marketing plans with 37% increasing the amount they spend on inbound marketing, against 27% spending more on outbound (ads etc).
The portion of the marketing budget spent on content marketing is forecast to grow by 27%, the study by consulting company Green Hat, in association with the Australian Direct Marketing Association has found.
1. Respect sells
Here’s the thing: You want permission marketing to win.
And so do I.
No one likes intrusive ads or pop-ups, and no one ever has liked them.
Imagine if you walked into a shop and the assistant walked up to you and, without even a hello, began loudly outlining the benefits of a product you hadn’t even looked at yet. It never made sense, and it was always rude. The only difference is that now we have a choice as consumers, and we are voting with our feet.
Interruptive marketing is in its death throes, and it’s making a lot of noise on the way out.
But it will die because the brands that continue to resort to it will slowly drive their customers into the arms of their rivals, who long ago realised the marketing paradigm has changed.
Aren’t you glad you are into content marketing?