Some Still Think Interruption Marketing Works

AdAge recently ran a story noting (some) young consumers switch media 27 times an hour, and brands must ‘step up their creative game’ to hold consumers attention. Both of these items are true.

But more than the data shared, how the author framed the story is what got my attention:

It’s every advertiser’s worst nightmare: consumers so distracted by a dizzying array of media choices that they no longer notice the commercials supporting them. And its time might be closer than you think.

This time isn’t close…it’s already here. People tuned out interruptions from companies ages ago: in fact, Seth Godin pointed this out in 1999.

It’s a quaint notion to think buying non-contextual advertising to mass audiences during television (a medium more frequently timeshifted or consumed on other devices than TVs by my generation) is effective to reach young people.

Even if commercials are seen during shows, viewers don’t really care about the brands who bought advertisements supporting them. Not just TV, interrupting people online (or merely mimicking offline ads) is equally self-defeating. That’s because the interruption model applied to the web suffers from exactly the same problem, plus doesn’t really make use of technology. It’s merely slapping a broken concept on a different platform.

What if: instead you reached out to people with content they cared about and built permission with an audience to share ideas? Or if you did want to push messages, why not put them in front of users seeking them out instead of interrupting during more personal moments?

Of course, permission marketing isn’t a new idea. It is what the web enables and what savvy marketing professionals have been doing for years.

image credit: Shutterstock