Interactive Marketing Strategist – George Benckenstein Interactive Marketing Strategist & Flat World Evangelist musing about how digital is changing the paradigm of human culture.


Interruption vs Engagement Marketing

It is said that a typical American is exposed to 30,000 advertising messages a day.  I found that hard to believe when I first heard this but then I just looked around and thought about this for a moment.  Why don't you think about this for a moment.  Imagine your drive to work - billboards, commercials on the radio, how about logos on cars and trucks.  Now think about your day at work - banner ads, logos on shirts, your computer, your telephone.  Now that you think about it, you can start to imagine this notion of 30,000 ad messages a day.  Now how many did you notice?  How many can you remember?  How many of these ad messages influenced you in any way?  This is called "ad blindness" and we are getting very good at filtering this stuff out as consumers.

Interruption Marketing

Interruption marketing is the process of finding a prospect engaged in something else, like reading a magazine, watching television, watching a game, driving to work and interrupting him/her with a commercial message. To do that "creativity" in its conventional form is a huge asset albeit rare.  In citing the example above, if you are not influenced or affected any one of the 30,000 ad messages a day, how is it that companies keep doing the same thing hoping for a different result.  That's insanity.  It's also a crap-shoot.  It's a matter of broadcasting loud to as many people as possible and hope it trickles down to a potential buyer.

As you can see, it's not very effective.  For many companies, their solution is to fight clutter with even more clutter.  Target audiences, no matter how well segmented, have learned to filter out and ignore the noise.  This is a fact.

Engagement Marketing

The digital space is about engaging in a conversation with peers, customers and staff, innovating with them and constantly improving your value proposition in an authentic way. Customers have the power, the information, the advice and the resources to make their own decisions, in the digital world its about entering the conversation.  It's about transparency and allowing consumers to participate and shape your brand based on authentic interactions between your employees, product or service and your customers.  It also turns the traditional marketing paradigm on its head -- using the interaction with one to spread "affect and influence" thru their personal network.

It's about becoming involved.  It's about allowing your customers to shape your brand and shape the future experiences you deliver to your customers.  It's about human connection and relationships again -- not a manufactured identity of the traditional brand.

Shaping Our Conversation

These are the types of subjects I will continue to explore with you as this blog evolves.  We will look at how our connected society has turned traditional notions of marketing, supply chains, and the economy at large on it's head; and we're just beginning on this quest.  This quest is a gloabal one that will affect us all in both positive and negative ways.

Comments (57) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I'm eager to read this blog as it evolves. Branding, advertising, and social networking are rapidly evolving, and I want to stay current. Thanks for your efforts. I'll be following you closely.

  2. Very nicely put. Conversations are the way forward. I'd argue that mass media was an anomaly anyway: The Broadcast Anomaly.

    I love the diagrams. A question: What about the interactions between the people in the two models? In social media / conversational marketing the interactions between the 'audience' is as important (if not more so) that the interaction between them and the 'brand'?

    Does that make sense?

  3. Neatly put. Would be interested to hear more on the different levels of engagement. And does such a thing as a strategy for from interaction to influence exist or is this something that is not in our gift? I think it is but haven't seen a really good one yet.

  4. Well articulated. We are only going to see this grow as more and more people enhance their Social Graphs. The companies who learn to leverage their communities to take example of these personal networks will do well.

    The key will be to build an experience based business where your marketing is engagement based to build followings and fans. I wrote about this just this a.m.

    Companies need to understand WITCE (What is The Customer Experience)

    • Great post Jim. I think what it comes down to is this: Just like media is participatory, so will product development – at a much more enhanced level than focus groups, etc… Products will be developed in ways where they define their own customer experience. Ouch… that kinda hurt my head :)

  5. A very nice article indeed. I will try to pay attention and "count" the advertising message I see tomorrow. I am looking forward to read more of your posts.

  6. Agree with the premise that an engaged prospect is better than an interrupted prospect (or even annoyed prospect), but there's a time and a place for every type of communication in a truly integrated marketing campaign. Some brands may need the interruption traditional TV or radio ads provide but they'll supplement those messages with something more direct and targeted in another media. It's all about balance and knowing what your prospects will best respond to.

    • I agree Devon. It can all be part of the mix. Then it comes down to how compelling or remarkable can you be? If you’re gonna interrupt then it better be good, right? We ALL learned that as kids o.0

  7. Excellent…thanks for this

  8. Eager to get more from your blog – this pretty much corresponds to the angle I've taken in my LIVErtising course taught at IHECS Brussels. I support it with a blog at Look fwd to getting comments from you there. I'll definitely RSS yours and be a keen reader.

    Jean-Pierre Ranschaert

  9. George, I found your blog recently. I'm appreciating your ability to paint pictures with your words and graphics. Your last graphic here gave me a fresh insight into the whole engagement idea. Thanks for that. I was reading today a couple of in-depth articles on how higher education may change globally because of the integration of online education and social media, that we are now learning by entering and becoming members of communities. It's similar to what your post is about here, that we learn from each other. It's been happening to me as I've been immersing myself in Twitter, blogging, and real world interactions. I'm engaged and learning. But not just as a receiver, but also as an influencer, which is to your point.

    • Hey Rick. I definitely embrace your point here. I learn more from my interactions with others and how they receive and consume the information I post as I do going thru the exercise of creating the post. We live in fascinating times my friend.

  10. Interesting article! I got your tweet earlier today (or yesterday? ) and clicked the link. Normally, I would have filtered out that link, assuming it was spam, but something about the interaction cause me to become involved. ;-)

  11. This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for this information which supports everything I stand for as a person who sells destination advertising. May I have your permission to use some of your information to share with with my team mates at I will follow this feed to see how it develops.

  12. Wonderfully stated Post.

    Relationship Marketing has been the foundation of our Businesses for 50 years.

    We have stressed quality of repeat Business rather than Large Numbers.

    Although one still need to get their message seen..
    But concentrate on those “who Care’ about what you have to say. and that takes Time and Energy..
    not always a Fat Advertising Budget

  13. Great site, awesome information…. Like your writing… have bookmarked will be back ;)

  14. Thanks,great article George, new thinking for new landscape ! Will continue to explore same from your blog article in building my own arsenal of social networking skills.

  15. Do many consumers really want a 'relationship', an emotional connection with a business? I can understand the emotional connection people have with sports teams, political organizations, alma maters and charities. But a business? I know I don't, even if they make a good product.

  16. I used your great ideas in this infographic. I think you will like this!

  17. I just used this image in my post
    not so hard to believe that avarage american is exposed
    to thousands of commercials in a single day

  18. Love it! Some have touched on it but it deserves to be restated – Interruptions can have damaging impact. I think you said it well about learning as a kid that if you are going to interrupt it better be good. Being 'good' has to apply both to the content and the context of the interruption.

  19. Well, I think what it comes down to is this: Just like media is participatory, so will product development – at a much more enhanced level than focus groups, etc… Products will be developed in ways where they define their own customer experience, Thankssss.

  20. Well, I learn more from my interactions with others and how they receive and consume the information! Thanks:)

  21. I was reading today a couple of in-depth articles on how higher education may change globally because of the integration of online education and social media, that we are now learning by entering and becoming members of communities, Great post, will be back soon.

  22. . Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing?

  23. If you are interested in the concept of engagement selling, read chapter 3 "The Cost of Free" from Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. He talks about how people do not factor in their time when considering using something that is "Free".

    If "Free" is comparable to something that is not free, people will without rationality value it. LinkedIn offers "premium" packages but they know very few people will pay for that. They do know that people will put up with a lot more banner ads if they think they are getting a valuable service for free.

  24. It was pleasure reading your post!Please write more so that we can get more details.I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  25. I completely agree with you. I have no point to raise in against of what you have said I think you explain the whole situation very well.

  26. Thanks for sharing good content, I like your blog design.

  27. Thanks for sharing good content, I like your blog design.

  28. Well I think this kind of marketing are both effective depending on your business. It would be better if your business can apply these kind of marketing.

  29. Let's not forget about responsive marketing. Used in conjunction with SEO and social media, businesses usually can see tremendous results.

  30. I'm following you from Brasil. Very nice post! Some people just don't understand the new marketing. Hope your article helps.

  31. The truly wonderful thing regarding social networks is if among the good friends of the initial individual to share your article think among their good friends would enjoy that or be in demand of it, they will share it also boosting the reach of your advertising and marketing without any extra cost to you.

  32. Outstanding teachers stimulate passion for their subject through inspirational lessons so that learners feel motivated and challenged to learn.

  33. Unlike in a classroom, an online tutor will be providing a one-to-one service, therefore giving the student their undivided attention. This also means that sessions can be tailored to suit a particular student's strengths and weaknesses, unlike a group session where the abilities of all students have to be taken into account.

  34. ——– for, ‘t is the eternal law,

  35. Based on this classification, SEO marketing or Internet Marketing belong to engagement marketing. Marketing evolves and it is no longer confined just in newspapers, tv, or magazines. It also invades the digital or virtual world and this is what marketers, advertisers, and SEO experts should take advantage.

  36. A hot new spinoff of social media marketing has altered the way companies are engaging their customer base. It's called Engagement Marketing, also known as "participation marketing," and is a strategy that is specifically designed to engage consumers and allow them to have an influence on the brand. It is no longer about companies relying on passive marketing and persuasion to gain new clients; it has become an interactive two-way street.

  37. Interruption marketing vs engagement marketing is really a new idea to promote our product. It is also effective in getting traffic conversion.

  38. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

  39. Wow!! obviously your mail is applauded adept. I am too influenced to read this post. I understanding you a lot of congrats for your very proceeded post . Just go ahead…….

  40. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What web host are you using?

    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  41. The facts and figures you distributed through your denote letters is purposeful. i like your work. want you all the luck for all of your blogging efforts. just go ahead …

  42. これで「保育所に入れたが呼び出しばかりで結局会社に迷惑をかける」ことも マタニティウエア無印 つける人が少しづつでも増えてくれば、認知されてくるのではないでしょうか?

  43. Totally agree that engaging with your customers is the way forward. This needs to be applied to all communication channels which need to become more conversational instead of the purely one- directional as in the past. A good example is customer surveys that use to be one way communication whereas now, we see survey tool vendors for example Survey Anyplace Mobile Surveys stepping away from the traditional one direction survey and making the feedback process more conversational

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  45. marketing is changing very dramatically we must be ready to face the changes.

  46. You must choose the marketing tactics which work best for me email marketing works pretty good for generating leads.

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