Folks like David Meerman Scott (author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR), Seth Godin (author of tons of new marketing books), and the whole team at Hubspot say it over and over and over. “Don’t cold call!” “Don’t run traditional advertising!” “Shame on you for interrupting people!”
While I agree with a lot of their new marketing tactics, they really need to stop bashing the old in exchange for the new. The old stuff still works if you do it right AND if you incorporate a multi-channel approach. The bottom line is that human beings love to buy stuff. And to think that the only time to sell them stuff is when they are actively searching for products or services is just wrong.
For instance: I lost my umbrella several weeks ago. And then last week I was on my way to an appointment in downtown D.C. and passed a street vendor selling umbrellas and tons of other stuff. It was a sunny day. The last thing I was thinking about was an umbrella. I had just finished sending a text as I passed by the street vendor when he asked, “Need an umbrella? It’s not raining today but it might tomorrow.” I got three steps past him before I was reminded that I needed an umbrella. I had pain. He interrupted me. He offered a solution to a problem I forgot I had.
So I turned around and bought an umbrella.
Now… let’s think about this. I wasn’t searching for an umbrella at that moment. If he said nothing, I would not have bought an umbrella that day. Surely I would have bought one someday in the future. But not from him.
He got the sale for two reasons:
1- Because he interrupted me.
2- Because he did it in a way that was smart. He said, “it’s not raining today but it might tomorrow.”
That’s good marketing!
So, don’t believe ALL of the hype. Just some of it. Interruption marketing is not dead. It’s just harder than it used to be. And, it requires a multi-channel approach (using several media and tactics to achieve your desired results).
An interesting blog post about the subject (with a slightly different take on the subject can be found here.
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