Interruption Marketing and the Internet

This is part of an ongoing series of posts which focus on improving Internet Marketing for Puerto Rican companies. In this post, we'll examine "interruption marketing" and determine its effectiveness in Puerto Rico and on the Internet.

Interruption Marketing

I'd have to say that it was Seth Godin back in 1998, who first pointed out this idea when he introduced the concept of permission-based marketing. As he called it, interruption marketing was the "The undesirable opposite of permission marketing." For most of us, interruption marketing, is all we've ever seen (or heard). And while it's all we've seen, I bet that very few marketers or consumers think about advertising as an interruption. Annoying, sure, but an interruption? Probably not.

Whenever you (the marketer) interrupt whatever your target audience is doing to pay attention to your advertisement, you're conducting interruption marketing. Here's a few examples:

  • While watching a spine tingling episode of Fringe the program stops and all of sudden you get a commercial for Ciales. The commercial interrupts the broadcast of the show, giving everyone a chance to learn about erectile dysfunction.
  • While you're flipping through today's edition of Primera Hora, you turn the page and discover two side by side full page advertisements from Doral. By inserting the ads between the newspaper's articles, the marketer interrupts your news reading experience.
  • While using the Internet, you decide you want to see what's new over at ElNuevoDia.com, but before you can get to their home page you get a ScotiaBank ad first. The ad interrupted your surfing experience by throwing up a skip through ad (you have to click on the "Skip Ad" button to get to the home page).
So what's the big deal, right? This is the way advertising has been conducted for ever, right? Well the problem is, that no matter how enticing the advertisement might be, the odds that we actually wanted to see the advertisement, or just happen to be in the market for whatever is being pitched, we've learned to ignore them.

With increasing regularity we seek out any way to ignore advertisements. What may have started with the mute button on our remotes, the fast forward button on our VCR, and now on our DVR, has grown into a clear pattern of avoiding advertisements nearly altogether on the Internet. How many out there have actually clicked on the "More Ads" link on Facebook?

Pop Quiz

I'm going to give you a advertisement hook, and you tell me the company who paid for the ad. Ready? "Brazilian Wax? Nice!" I bet if I did a poll, less than 10% of you would be able to name the company. As you can imagine, even when an advertising agency breaks through and captures our attention, we rarely associate the ad with the sponsor, which sort of misses the whole point.

Is Advertising Broken?

For me, I think it is. I've argued with people about this, but I wouldn't have this position if it weren't for people like Seth, or Sergio Zyman. Now, I'm not so deluded to think that all advertising is broken. Let's just say that getting your message to the right audience at the right time, has become a lot more difficult than it used to be.

Consider the following, how many times do you make a purchasing decision because of a recommendation by family or friends, as opposed to an advertisement? From what kind of cars we drive to where we vacation, there a lot of influences that go into our purchasing decisions. Twenty years ago, the formula was simple. Make a decent product and then blanket every media channel we believe our target audience pays attention to. A lot has changed.

Internet Marketing

So if regular advertising works less often, what does that mean if we choose to advertise on the Internet? Well not only do we pay even less attention to advertisements on the Internet, we even create software to protect us from seeing them (pop-up ad blockers). Unfortunately for marketers, almost because regular advertising has become so ineffective, you HAVE to use the Internet. So now what?

As I've mentioned, the first step in the move to Internet advertising involves getting acclimatized to the new environment. The simple lesson is this: advertising on the Internet requires more marketing than merely coming up with some catchy copy and glittery graphics; it requires participation, it requires involvement, it requires adopting new rules to play in this new medium. A medium that daily becomes more critical in reaching target audiences with any accuracy or efficacy.

And remember this, while the Internet has already passed television in the amount of time we "pay attention" to it, it is still a relatively new and immature technology. It will continue to capture more and more of our time as it slowly penetrates every aspect of our lives. It is inevitable that it will become the dominant advertising platform of the future. It's not quite clear how, but it will eventually capture more advertising dollars than television (or El Nuevo Dia here in Puerto Rico).

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor: Kevin Steele

7 comments:

GCD

22 de septiembre de 2009, 09:58
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dijo...

How big a factor would you say is access to the internet? How many people in PR who can actually make a purchase decision have access to the internet and of those how many actually go to the internet to find what they are looking for? How much of the problem is education?

MC Don Dees

22 de septiembre de 2009, 21:30
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dijo...

GCD,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your questions.

Well, without doubt, I would say that one of the "reasons" why marketers don't spend more attention on the Internet is the lack of numbers. While it can be argued that there about the same number of Internet accounts on the island as there are subscribers to El Nuevo Dia, I'm sure most marketers consider them equal.

Numbers vary widely as to how many people are actually on the Internet in Puerto Rico. So guess anywhere between 500K and 1250K. According to Facebook, there are 1,084,427 people in the San Juan, PR network. So some where around there.

As to the specific point of the amount of purchases or education, well that I guess depends on your perspective, but it does sound like the making for a good post. Thanks for the idea.

Scylas

23 de septiembre de 2009, 15:14
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dijo...

I read there are 870K+ Broadband connections in the island and the estimate is 1Million+ connections.

I am certain the market is there, that's 25% of the population and certainly mostly of classes A and B, meaning those with higher purchasing power.

For some online products you also have to consider the 5 million Puerto Ricans abroad.

What is the circulation and subscriber base of El Nuevo Dia?

Scylas

23 de septiembre de 2009, 15:29
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dijo...

ElVocero.com - 44.6K/month
ElNuevoDia.com - 92.3K/month...
ClasificadosOnline - 231K/month

How does this compare with traffic in other countries in Latin America?
Its hard to use quantcast or alexa because they only measure the amount of US visitors.

Scylas

23 de septiembre de 2009, 16:50
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dijo...

Ok so I been using Compete.com

It seems like ENDI.com and ElNuevoDia.com are just as big as ElUniversal.com (Venezuela) and Clarin.com (Argentina).

Which.. shows that there is a market.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/endi.com+elnuevodia.com+clarin.com+primerahora.com+eluniversal.com/

MC Don Dees

23 de septiembre de 2009, 20:41
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dijo...

GCD,

Thanks for all of the information. I think that circulation of the print El Nuevo Dia is around a million.

I think what were dealing with when local marketers analyze the size and potential value of the Puerto Rico Internet market are:

1. Fear of losing control
2. Fear of losing revenues
3. Comparison of tangible (a print ad, subscribers, a commercial) versus the unknown (traffic, clicks, impressions, search engine marketing)
4. Fear of metrics (needing to demonstrate the unknown) as opposed to merely pointing to the tangible.

The question we're trying to answer here is: "Is it worth advertising/marketing on the Internet?"

GCD

23 de septiembre de 2009, 22:34
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dijo...

I have to say that all the credit for the information must go to Syclas. I do have an observation though.

Obviously there is a decent number of people going to the internet to get their news and as long as they are there they can be targeted.

My question is, when these people have a need for a product or service is the internet their source of choice or do they make a purchasing decision based on a recommendation from their family or friends? That is, in my opinion, one of the most important factors that marketers need to work on.

I have to make the disclaimer here that I am not a marketer but a technologist.