Interrupt marketing, or interruption marketing, is a short-term tactic that puts a product or service in front of customers without their consent and regardless of its relevance to their needs, all while interrupting their normal activities. Could you think of something from your daily life that fits this definition?
As a consumer, business owner or marketer, you might have come across the usual suspects:
• Cold calling
• Direct mail
• Email spam
• Television or radio advertisements
• Print ads
• Digital ads like pre-roll ads playing before your desired content and interstitial (more interactive than pop-up) ads
You probably remember when one or more of these promotional materials translated to poor (read: annoying) user experience (UX) – an unacceptable result in increasingly user-centric modern markets.
In the post-Mad Men era, interruptive marketing is causing friction to the consumer experience. No wonder 90 percent of web users ignore it and instead prefer permission marketing, which rolls out anticipated, personal and relevant messages (Seth Godin, 1999).
But that doesn’t mean this marketing tactic has run out of use and value. Your niche or industry can still benefit from it if you manage to weave it into a broader marketing approach that also includes a social media marketing strategy and a video marketing strategy. Put on your business owner or marketer’s hat because we’re here to help you decide what to do with it. Let’s begin by exploring the most popular types of interrupt marketing, weighing their pros and cons. We also look into:
• Interruption marketing vs. permission marketing
• What is interruption marketing good for in the post-Mad Men age?
• A better, holistic proposition
The Most Popular Types of Interrupt Marketing: Pros & Cons
Interruption marketing comprises mostly traditional forms of advertising and customer outreach. But digital ads may also fall into this category when they disrupt the online user experience. Let’s take a look at the most common types of interrupt marketing, including their positive and negative sides.
A form of telemarketing, cold calling involves reaching out to people who have not previously expressed interest in your product or service. Recipients may not enjoy answering calls from strangers about irrelevant topics. Plus, they may be in the middle of working, driving, eating lunch or another activity. Cold callers also tend to follow a script, making the interaction inauthentic.
• Quick and inexpensive
• Difficult to sustain
• Irritating to the customer
• Upsetting the user experience can affect company reputation
Alternative: These days, a reputable Facebook marketing agency can set up chatbot messaging with an engagement flow based on buying stages.
Considered a part of print advertising, direct mail includes brochures, catalogs and fliers. Most of the time, these promotional materials become unwanted litter in the mailbox.
• Can track response rates
• High cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
• Low response rates
Alternative: Craft and send out eNewsletters that users anticipate because they willingly signed up for them.
The Spamhaus Project defines spam as unsolicited email sent in bulk. It has to satisfy both these conditions: there is no verifiable permission for the message to be transmitted to many recipients. Internet service providers ban spam based on this definition.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 covers only commercial emails. It requires businesses to identify themselves and their location, disclose ads, set up an opt-out mechanism and address opt-out requests right away.
None. You should comply with the rules to avoid paying penalties of up to $43,792 for each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.
• Annoying to the recipient
• The recipient may lose trust in your brand’s legitimacy
• Non-compliance is expensive
Alternative: Send non-spam promotional emails through a sustainable email marketing campaign.
TV & Radio Ads
These forms of broadcast advertising remain popular because of their broad reach. However, they are expensive because you’re paying for every second of interruption of the viewer or listener experience.
• Exposure to a national or international audience
• Less expensive and easier to produce (radio ads)
• Costly to produce and place (TV ads)
• Disrupt the consumption experience
• Your target audience may be hanging out elsewhere (Millennials and Generation Xers are watching TV less, according to a study.)
Alternative: Your target audience may be hanging out on social media, so better to reinforce your platform strategy using one of the rising lead magnets today: video. Craft effective multimedia content with the help of a video marketing agency.
This type refers to ads that appear in newspapers and magazines. Newspaper ads are shown to a diverse audience regularly, even daily, while magazine ads appear less frequently – although the latter has a longer shelf life.
• Target loyal readers
• Ad rates can be steep
• Appealing to a general audience may not be cost-effective
• Can appear as clutter to readers
Alternative: Upgrade to moving visuals by creating a cost-effective and appealing video ad (or collaborate with a video marketing company).
Telemarketing involves the marketing of products and services to potential customers, usually through unsolicited phone calls. This practice is the definition of interruption marketing because it breaks people’s activity flow, making them listen to a message they’re not anticipating.
• Selling is possible despite the distance
• Has negative reputation
• Customer lists may be costly
• Personnel training takes time and money
Alternative: Develop a Facebook marketing strategy or have a Facebook marketing agency implement ad campaigns for increasing brand awareness using precise targeting.
These video ads play before the viewer can watch their preferred video. Some of them are skippable, providing users with the option to skip them after five seconds. But others are non-skippable, which can be frustrating for those who want to view the online content immediately. Video marketing services like this are offered on YouTube and Facebook.
• Less intrusive than mid-roll content
• Target the right audience if part of a video marketing strategy
• Still distracting to viewers since they play automatically
• The risk of people skipping the ads
• Finding the perfect spot takes effort
Alternative: Sometimes, pre-roll ads are a necessary evil. But a proven video marketing company can produce one that keeps the viewer watching and clicking on your call-to-action (CTA).
These are full-screen ads, usually interactive, that appear during transition points or a pause between game levels.
• Flexibility of content type used
• Affects loading time
• Interrupts the gaming, shopping or such experience
Alternative: A video marketing agency or a full-service digital marketing firm can put together an interactive interstitial ad and let it appear organically in front of your target audience.
Interruption Marketing vs. Permission Marketing
To its credit, interruption marketing had its heyday as a well-oiled machine that delivers immediate results. For example, TV ads can cause a five percent sales uptick within a campaign’s first month. But considering the massive cost that comes with TV ads, the benefits may be limited to brands with a huge advertising budget.
Further, interrupting marketing involves cutting through people’s activities and feeding them with the marketing message. In turn, consumers are screening out commercials on their TiVo or blocking ads on their mobile browsers.
Permission marketing, a concept introduced by Seth Godin in 1999, is the antidote to interrupt marketing. This tactic pulls people toward the message in a variety of ways. Your social media marketing strategy (particularly Facebook marketing strategy), video marketing strategy, email marketing strategy and content marketing strategy use permission marketing to capture attention in the digital age.
All of these strategic efforts interrupt your target audience (whom you are targeting based on data) initially, such as when you ask someone to give you their email address or follow you on social media. But they respect people’s time and consent. They establish a connection with customers. Eventually, these actions cultivate trust within their community of subscribers or followers and bolster conversion.
Permission marketing is more sustainable in the long run, making it more cost-effective. However, it can also take time to build and produce results. Partnering with a competent video marketing company may accelerate your results, though.
What Is Interruption Marketing Good for in the Post-Mad Men Age?
Most interrupt marketing types come from traditional marketing. It isn’t right to say that they’re dead because some still get a share of brands’ ad budget, such as TV and radio ads. But you should be aligning these practices with the requirements of the digital age. Here are some instances you can apply interruptive marketing with a twist:
• Retargeting: Integrated into your social media marketing strategy or Facebook marketing strategy, deploy a display ad of the product a user has shown interest in.
• Content promotion and distribution: Use video marketing services and rely on your social media strategy when getting new audiences to notice your content.
• Rebranding/Product launch: Combine TV, radio or print ads with digital marketing solutions to increase brand awareness effectively and exponentially.
A Better, Holistic Proposition
It’s been over two decades since Godin floated interruption marketing vs. permission marketing. Consumer behavior has dramatically changed. The internet has brought power back to customers who wish not to be interrupted.
We have discussed the answer to “What is interrupt marketing?” by listing down its forms and their impact. For the most part, the cons outweigh the pros. While interrupt marketing poses quick wins, digital strategies are far more superior and sophisticated in delivering precise targeting, generating qualified leads and providing a greater return on investment (ROI) in the long run.
If you need help in getting started, you can’t go wrong with an experienced online marketing firm that crafts a comprehensive digital strategy, including social media advertising and video marketing. Thrive fits this description perfectly. We also offer video marketing services, so there’s no need for you to work with a video marketing agency separately.
Call us at 866-908-4748 or share your details with us and let’s discuss a potential partnership to transform interrupt marketing into something more user-oriented and conversion-focused.