The interruptions became annoying and I finally said “Thanks for the attention but if we need anything else we will simply come and get you or wave our hand“. Does this remind you of anything?
Advertisements Are An Interruption
Advertisers are anti-social and don’t even know it. Most Ads are skipped over on sites and considered an annoyance. The real advertisements are consumer reviews and comments which attract more consumers than the traditional advertisements. Seven of the top 10 ads in 2009 (according to Ad Age) included consumers as part of the creation process or as real-life experiments in them.
Traditional advertising continues to decline, and even digital advertising is flattening out. So where are the budgets going? They are chasing “social.” Yet advertisers are not welcome to interrupt conversations and consumers have become savvy about the tricks of the trade.
It’s Not What Ads Say, but What Others Say about Your Ads
Conversations about most brands are happening right now. There are tools that will tell you whether
the market sentiment about a brand or product is positive or negative. It is called a conversation. The tools to monitor conversations are a thermometer, not a cattle prod.
Brands are trying to shape their conversation with a branded message. All of them are attempting to construct a decision cycle, a funnel, a CRM plan, but it is a waste of time because such efforts are detected by the consumer and not considered “social”. Conversations are simply an exchange of information between real people, the human network, aimed at fulfilling an intent.
Back to The Waiter
Imagine having a romantic dinner with your spouse and the waiter continually interrupts you in an attempt to “serve”. A good waiter would recognize that time spent together over dinner is a conversational event. Whether it is with your spouse, friends or business associates a conversational event is not for the purpose of the merchant rather it is for the fulfillment of people’s intent.
The marketplace is filled with merchants that want to fulfill our intent. However most brands are driven by their intent to make a sale rather than serving the consumers intent to fulfill a desire. There is a huge difference between the two intents. Consider:
- Interruptions are considered anti-social behaviors. People don’t usually stick around to converse when they are constantly interrupted.
- If I come to your conversation it is with intent. If I am met with “traps and tricks” that interrupt my intent I’ll end up leaving your conversation.
- All buyers want is the ability to fulfill their intent in a productive manner. They don’t necessarily want to be “friends”.
- The real price of your products or services doesn’t include the time and effort buyers take to engage in a conversation about your product or service. If the engagement is filled with interruptions the buyer ends up spending their “time and productivity” (money) trying to fulfill their intent.
- If a buyer wants to fulfill their intent they will engage in a conversation and if the buyer interrupts you well they are doing so with the intent to ultimately make a purchase.
Advertising and marketing practices came from an era when mass media deployed mass interruption tactics aimed at getting consumer attention. Just in case you didn’t realize it that era is over and the new era is about being social as the means for earning attention.