• Ric Navarro

Interruption marketing and why it fails

The young and enthusiastic spruikers were out in force. Wearing lime green t-shirts, they formed a regiment, heading off passengers just outside the train station.

It was 7.30 in the morning and these passengers were focused on their journey: either on their way to work, dropping children off at day care, or heading home after a long night shift.

That didn’t seem to deter the spruikers. Marshalling and corralling passengers, desperately manoeuvring to get their attention. And once the gaze of a passenger was attained, the crude ploy of pushing a pamphlet into the passenger’s hands followed. Some took the pamphlets but most skirted around the spruikers. 20 metres along, the public rubbish bin was littered with the pamphlets.

This brand made a deliberate decision to interrupt its potential customers. They figured it was a way to reach a mass audience. They also assumed that bright t-shirts emblazoned with hashtag slogans, worn by bubbly uni students, would improve their hit rate.

So often we see this behaviour from brands, determined to interrupt customers lives.

These brands expend copious amounts of time, energy and resources thinking about the ‘clever’ marketing campaign to attract customers. Rather than this short-term thinking, their efforts are better focused on getting clear on who their ideal customer is, why they will buy the product, and what will keep them coming back tomorrow.

Brands can only begin to reach their ideal customers when they truly understand the story of the person they are trying to attract and delight. This takes true marketing grit.

And all of this comes from truly understanding your customers.

Are you an interrupter or a listener?

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