Interruption Marketing Last week, I attended the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Summit and MarketingExperiments Email Messaging Optimization Course. In it, Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, the speaker and director of MarketingExperiments, started talking about marketing in an all too familiar way. He stated a problem, in the form of a prospect's protest to marketers today, based on the changing nature of business interactions. The big takeaway: Interruption marketing incites anxiety; inbound marketing builds trust.

MarketingExperiments is big on heuristics to describe how to optimize marketing interactions. For example, the "Email Messaging Effectiveness Index" is a function of Relevance x Value less Inhibitors. In other words, the way to improve response rates for your offers (your email messaging effectiveness in this case) is to ensure that the value you offer outweighs the inhibitors -- friction and anxiety experienced by the prospect. If the pros outweigh the cons, why wouldn't the prospect convert?

A short video of The Prospect's Problem -- and Marketer's Response -- is included below and the full text is on the MarketingExperiments blog . But here are the main takeaways:

Marketing is about relationships.

Buyers naturally distrust anyone trying to sell them something. They don't want to be treated like just a potential sale, so don't "market to" them, "communicate with" them. You need to build a relationship with your prospect in order to earn their trust.

Offer value in exchange for what you're asking.

Marketers are always asking: Click Here! Subscribe! Buy Now! But what are you offering in exchange to actually motivate that prospect to act? Offer value first and establish yourself as a quality resource in order to earn your prospect's trust. This requires you to put the interest of your prospect first.

Experimentation and data are essential.

Real marketing decisions should be based on real marketing data. Marketers must experiment in order to learn what works and what doesn't for their business.

Altogether, this sounds a lot like the foundations of inbound marketing : create valuable content, engage in a conversation with your audience, and measure all your marketing efforts to constantly improve your marketing effectiveness. All of this leads to establishing your business as a hub for your industry so that your prospects come to you -- instead of you interrupting them with your marketing messages -- when they are in need of your products and services.

The Prospect's Protest and the Marketer's Response

What do you think? How have you been able to offer value and build relationships with your prospects instead of interrupting them with your marketing messages?

Photo by Ben Cumming

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Originally published Mar 23, 2009 8:57:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

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Inbound Marketing