Intrusive Marketing: The Difference Between Spam and Success

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We live in a world where marketers are constantly looking for new ways to receive consumer attention. And for many marketers today, that means employing disruptive tactics, otherwise known as intrusive marketing, that often have adverse effects on their brand.

Ranging from old school junk mail to the new 101 billion dollar mobile market, modern intrusive marketing disrupts the content experience to push consumers to purchase products. However, while these tactics are meant to increase purchases, they often lead to consumer discontent, poor brand perception, and worst of all: lack of sales. 

Intrusive Marketing: Then and Now

Beginning in the modern era with telemarketing and direct mail (commonly referred to as junk mail), marketers took to private phone lines and places of residence to sell products. After the implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry in 2003, which allowed consumers to opt-out of being contacted by telemarketers, television and the web became prime platforms for the proliferation of these tactics. Enter: pop-up ads, spam email, and overly loud commercials. This time, ad blocker software, spam filters, and the Commercial Loudness Mitigation Act in 2012 decreased the frequency of these occurrences once more. 

However, despite pushback from consumers, especially the Millennial audience, intrusive marketing continues plaguing several markets. As it currently stands, intrusive marketing gains many impressions but proportionally fewer meaningful engagements. Intrusive advertisements often target the wrong consumer, and the obtrusive nature angers the consumers they do reach.

In fact, 91 percent of people say that ads today are more intrusive than they were two years ago, and 32 percent of people are expected to download an adblocker because they feel ads are annoying - up 20 percent in 2015. Additionally, 66 percent of millennials are using ad blockers to tailor their content experience away from disruptive advertising. Consumers now have the power to ignore advertisements, and marketers are left needing to find effective ways to connect with consumers and block out advertising clutter. 

From Intrusive to Permission-Based

The solution? Permission-based marketing, which is a practice that allows willing consumers to consent to marketing efforts. Consumers must sign up to receive communications from your brand with the option to opt-out at any time.  

“Permission Marketing is the tool that unlocks the power of the Internet,” says marketing thought-leader, Seth Godin

Like most marketing tactics, permission-based marketing is continuously evolving. It’s no longer a one-way relationship with your consumers through a CRM-based email marketing campaign. 

Now, the most successful permission-based marketing creates a two-way relationship and employs the use of brand-owned communities to further activate consumer advocates. This relationship between buyer and seller is more symbiotic than traditional advertising, as the brand reaches a specific target consumer who is receptive to the brand’s messaging. In return, the consumer feels a stronger emotional connection and is willing to advocate for the brand and offer feedback. This leads to one major benefit of permission-based marketing: generating word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations. 

In a survey conducted by Nielsen, 84 percent of people said they trust a recommendation from someone they know to some degree, making it the most trusted form of advertising. Additionally, another 74% of people ranked word-of-mouth as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Gaining the trust of consumers has continuously proved to be a stronger marketing tactic than pushing irrelevant advertisements. 

Marketers need to use modern techniques as a way to empower consumers. They need to get creative and “human” to relate to their consumers, as forcing their way onto a screen is no longer working. 

Are you ready to save money, attract loyalists and advertise smarter with permission-based marketing? Schedule a demo of our Vesta solution today. 



Mike De PintoTwitterLinkedIn

Mike is an intern for the Marketing Team at Social Media Link. He spends a majority of his time focusing on Social Media Management and Strategic Research to aid in corporate marketing initiatives. Mike is a Senior as SUNY New Paltz and will graduate with a double major in Media Management and Public Relations.