A Rant About Interruption Marketing

8 09 2008

As I’m sitting at the Inbound Marketing Summit anxiously awaiting the conference to begin, I’m reminded about interruption marketing. Both of the keynote speakers today, David Meerman Scott and Seth Godin, have both written extensively on their blogs and in their books about interruption versus permission-based marketing.

On a daily basis we receive various forms of interruption marketing. While not wanted, I have grown accustomed to many of these forms of marketing and thus simply tune out when confronted with them. However, on Labor Day it was a different situation…one which I couldn’t tune out.

I had traveled down to Watch Hill, Rhode Island with my fiancee, her family and we brought along our dog for her first adventure in the ocean. There I was, a perfect day to be at the ocean….approximately 85 degrees, slight breeze, no humidity and not a cloud in sight. “What a great day to relax and enjoy some time away from my hyperconnected life” I thought to myself. I had been doing some reading as waves crashed into the shoreline with my dog thoroughly confused at why the water kept “attacking” her as she tried to lay in the sand. Just when it seemed that all was perfect I begin to hear the roar of a small airplane. I looked up in the sky and guess what I saw? A small airplane trailing a long banner for Cox cable service. At first I didn’t think anything of it because we’ve all had similar experiences when relaxing on the beach. But, throughout the course of the afternoon I saw a plane probably another 3-4 times, each time with a new banner. Since there aren’t big billboards in the ocean or along the beach, companies turn to banners flown by plane as a way to interrupt people relaxing with their friends and family. I mean, really, do you think I’m going to run out to my local dealership to purchase the car you have a special on this weekend or a great deal on local cable service because of a banner that I had to stare up into the sun and squint to try to read….which is of course after I had to put down my book and have the nice silence I was enjoying disturbed?!?!

While my rant is only one example of many different forms of interruption marketing, I think it is one that highlights why inbound marketing is so important. The potential customer is giving you permission to tell them about your services instead of interrupting them when they’re trying to concentrate at work, spend time with their family, etc.

For those not able to attend the Inbound Marketing Summit, it is being streamed live.  

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