Stop Interrupting Me!
Turns out, we all might have a little more in common with Taylor Swift than previously thought. We're 100% over being interrupted. In order to understand why we hate it so much, it's essential to define what disruptive marketing is. If it interferes with your day-to-day activities, it's disruptive marketing. While it's easy to think that social media, business blogging and lead capture are an entirely new phenomenon, realize that optimal placement and a little ingenuity and really nothing new.
The Early Days of Inbound Marketing
For those of you who are old enough to remember the Burma Shave Campaigns, take the time to think back to a simpler time. A time when the American vacation was done by car, travelling across the country to visit relatives or national monuments. The kids played games in the car like bingo, where you had to watch out the windows to see the items passing you by and they match them to special bingo cards. We sang songs and trivia games to keep occupied. We also changed seats all the time as seatbelts were not yet required. One thing that hasn’t changed is the kids would still ask, “How long until we get there?” That was usually followed up by dad saying,”I don’t want to hear you ask that again”. Today the answer is going to sound more like “246.7 miles, and according to the GPS we should be there in 4 hours and 8 minutes.”
Burma Shave's marketing team came up with the ingenious idea to buy several billboards in a row along major highways and use each consecutive space to tell a part of a larger story. The stories were brief but they worked. They kept the kids anxiously awaiting each new sign to discover the next chapter of the story. It worked - I remember the campaign, the product and brand today. We'd all stop and everyone would be glued to the car windows. Burma was inbound before the concept really existed - they put their information where consumers were looking for it.
Marketers vs. Technology
Back in the day, television and radio ads really worked because technology wasn't caught up. For those of us who can't remember the days of television before NetFlix and flatscreens, you actually had to get up and walk to the television and turn a knob to change the channel. I'll be the first to admit that most of us are a little lazy and it was just easier to sit through the commercials. The invention of the remote control changed everything. We could channel surf through commercial break. Next came the big breakthrough of cable television. While there was once 13 channels to choose from, suddenly we had several hundred at our fingertips. Marketers have now gotten smart enough to realize that consumers will do everything possible to ignore interruption marketing, and are utilizing product placement in television shows.
Stop Fighting for Attention
What the marketing world is just starting to realize is the power of inbound marketing. As of July 2010, 74% of the Fortune Global 100 had company Facebook pages. Turns out, effective selling is just a matter of being able to provide information about your products when the customer is looking for them. This means that your need to be vigilant about providing information and education to consumers, and publishing it in a place where they'll be looking. Through the education process, they can learn about differences in the product that they were previously unaware of and make an educated choice. Inbound marketing puts the customer in first place - where they should be - and allows them to discover information on their own terms.