Use Interruptive Marketing to Boost Inbound Marketing Performance

An article from our Senior Database Marketing Analyst, Clinton Kennedy:
If you search for direct marketing and inbound marketing, pretty much all that comes back are articles listing the benefits of one versus the other.
Authors generally favor the ‘new’ trend:  Inbound Marketing.
The capability of direct marketing to interrupt people’s train of thought and induce specific on-line searches increases in importance as consumers’ first shopping action becomes searching online.  Interruptive stimulus is more powerful because mobile access lets people shop anywhere, any time.
If a product or a business is already the category leader and top-of-mind for consumers, inbound marketing without interruptive marketing support may be sufficient.  However, most businesses are not category leaders.  Businesses can bypass search engine optimization, by getting people to go directly to their web sites.
The experienced marketing manager knows that it takes a portfolio of marketing efforts to reach customers with the right information at every step along their path to purchase.
As logical as path to purchase models appear, people are emotional and responsive to new information at every step.  Interruptive marketing grabs attention and redirects action:

  1.  When a need is in the incipient state, an offer can help it take shape.
  2. Direct mail can force a new product toward the top of mind.
  3. When someone is searching for product information, a well-timed mail piece can direct them to a seller’s web site or even to a specific retail location.
  4. At the point when a customer has decided to buy something to satisfy their need, they can be influenced to accelerate their decision process or even change their product evaluation criteria by being interrupted with a promotional offer or product guarantee.
  5. Even in the post purchase phase, interruptive communications may be appropriate to avert buyers’ remorse or stimulate positive word of mouth.  Saying “Thank you” through the mail affirms good feelings after a purchase.

Direct marketing offers you a palette of creative messaging tools to reach out and physically touch targeted current or prospective customers.  Its cost effective use is entirely dependent upon list selection first and message/offer second.
At every stage in the path to purchase, direct marketing gives a marketing manager the opportunity to push their product forward and lead people toward their inbound marketing programs.  The combined effect greatly increases the impact of all marketing communications, sweeping the efforts of competitors aside.