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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Back in the 1930s, (yes that far back), advertisers worked out that they could sell stuff by interrupting your day and telling you about their product. Newspaper adverts and then TV adverts was a way of doing this. As you read the newspaper the advert would interrupt your concentration and the Marlboro man would be there on his horse, the idea being that would would go out an buy Marlboro cigarettes, or even it would justify the decision that you purchased Marlboro cigarettes. The same with Television, you are watching your favourite television programme, it gets to a good bit and the TV programme is interrupted by adverts.

This is called interruption and broadcast marketing and in the pre-internet, pre-mobile and pre-social-media age it was a pretty good way of selling. Consumer Brands realised that the more you interrupt and the more you broadcast, the more money you make.

And you can see why this worked. The consumer knew no different, in fact being interrupted about a product was deemed acceptable as you could get information from anywhere else.

Sales Ingrained

When I started in sales 25 years ago, it was a simple process. You called somebody up and pitched your product, the same 1930s interruption and broadcast. If they didn’t want to buy, you called them up again and again; you interrupted them as many times as you could and broadcasted to them all about your product.

Fast forward 80 years and things have changed. We are all tired of being interrupted and broadcast at. Nobody gets up in the morning and says “what I want to do is talk to a salesperson pitching their product”. The problem with all of this is that the buyer (you and me) have choices.

Buyers Have Choices

As buyers we are all busy people, none of us like being interrupted and now as we know you don’t have to interrupt people anymore, it’s all a bit 1930s, why would you do this? Imagine you are selling a nice new shinny Cloud product and or Artificial Intelligence (AI) product and you use 1930s technology to sell it? Really?

We have seen the research from CEB now Gartner that states that people are 57% of the way through the buying process before they contact a sales person. All of us research in “salesperson avoidance mode”, as we don’t want people pitching to us; interrupting us and broadcasting to us.

If buyers want to buy a product they can go on-line and check products out over the internet, through mobile and on social media. Recent research from Showpad 

https://www.showpad.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/the-new-b2b-buyer-experience-report.pdf states that people purchasing goods over $100K will spend over 40 hours researching online.

Technical Barrier to Interrupt Marketing

Buyers now have legislation and technology on their side. Adblocker use is growing 30% year-on-year, we all use standard technology on our phones to block cold callers and use standard technology in email to make sure people’s emails go straight into the junk folder. And of course, regulations like GDPR have killed email marketing. This means that pretty much all the old options of interrupting people and broadcasting at them have died. Advertising, email marketing, cold calling have all been placed in the marketing dustbin.

Arrive the Video Marketing Guru

We recently came across some cine film in my partner’s garage and the camera. Dated from 1959, the film, (we had it transcribed to DVD) has no sound and we found that the way you work the camera is by winding a handle. There is no battery. Of course things are a little more advanced now, we have our mobiles. There are also companies that can sell you systems so you can see if people have watched the video and for how long.

This is where the video guru and the clever apps arrive. What we can do is rather than cold call people, email blast people, etc is interrupt their day by sending them videos. But isn’t this the same as what we did in the 1930s, you may ask? Surely this is just interrupt and broadcast marketing. And it is.

Somebody sends me an unsolicited email and there is a video. “Hi Tim, I’ve got this special facility for X, Y, Z” I had to pinch myself, had I been transported in a time machine back to the 1930s? No this was the great advancement which is video marketing.

I’m really sorry to all those video marketing gurus, to all those clever video applications that can track what happened when you spammed me with your video. This is all old tech and old ways that have long been thrown in the marketing garbage.

Yes I know, it’s “new” and yes I know you can see if I watched your spammy video and for how long but let’s not forget a turd is a turd, however much you polish it.

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