Marketers Must Identify The Right Level Of Interruption

Modern magic, sometimes even modern religion. This is how technology is sometimes perceived. But with all the wisdom, all the knowledge, all the communication that is possible in this asymmetric digital age, often it is the patience and the endurance of the consumer that are seriously tested.

Virtually everything in your life is connected and able to communicate. The constant updates, notifications and chirps could quickly overwhelm. Marketers who contribute to this ever-increasing noise risk rendering their messages irrelevant, ignored and ultimately dead on arrival.

As we navigate this hyper-connected, hyper-relevant, hyper-personalized, always-on landscape, what key questions should brands be asking when designing any communication?

Calm technology might be an answer – it’s the concept that technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary. It’s a state of being in which a user’s primary task is not determining how tech works, but being human. Having smarter people, not things. It’s the same with interruptions or distractions. Finding the right level could mean the world of difference between learning and creativity, or annoyance and irritation.

If brands were to embrace the following ideas, it could mean better engagement in a more relevant and contextual manner.

  • Cadence & Volume. Less is more. Brands have made it all too messy, often forgetting to ask themselves: what is the right level of outreach to simplify purchase decisions? As the value of attention rises, marketers need to understand that consumers can be quite unforgiving. To earn attention, it is going to have to be in a way that is not dependent on the cadence of the message or how high pitched the interruptive value.
  • Active vs. Passive content. Brands need marketing programs to have content that is available to their customers when they seek it out vs. actively reaching out to them all the time. Consider any telecom brand, which is probably sending across a constant stream of communications that consumers don’t need. What the customer is really concerned about is whether the data plan is working and the phone is functioning, and they don’t really want to know any more. Instead, if your telecom brand simply informed you of everything you needed throughout your experience without intruding, consumers would be more likely to engage.
  • Customer-centric vs. Customer-directed. Marketers often struggle because they are not in the mindset of thinking about the customer being in control vs. them being the target. When you realize your product is going to thrive or die based on the whims of the customer, it can be a rather scary prospect.

Marketers often overlook the nature of the customer’s mindset because what matters most is the desire to hit their numbers. The key is to empower the customer with what they need to help them make a confident purchase, while also developing a holistic view of each individual customer interaction and experience over the life of the relationship.

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