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Attraction Vs Interruption Marketing

attraction interruption marketing

What is Attraction and Interruption Based Marketing?

Since the beginning of time, marketing has played an enormous part in our lives.  From the oldest form of word-of-mouth to the modern practice of digital, marketing has seen a lot of change with the advancement of technology.  Upon the emergence of the internet is when we began to see a new type of marketing emerge, dictated not by the business – but by the people. This new form of marketing however did not replace the old way, but added a new form of interaction that businesses have never been able to do before.

Traditionally, marketing was implemented through the means of pushing out information and hoping consumers will find it useful enough to buy into it.  This practice is knows as interruption marketing.  The idea is to interrupt whatever the customer is doing at the time to bring attention to your product.

With the birth of the internet came many things.  One of these things was the new form of marketing where the consumer dictated what they wanted and the audience had a voice.  This new form is known as attraction marketing.  Attraction marketing takes place when the customer looks for your product instead of you looking for them.

Although different, both can be extremely effective when used together.  However, in order to find the most potential, we must understand exactly what they mean.

Traditional Interruption-Based Marketing

Before radio, before television and way before the internet, marketing required word of mouth.  In fact, word of mouth was the original way of marketing.  Back when people had to rely on oral communication to get people to buy their product, the only choice businesses had was to go up to consumers and interrupt whatever activity they were doing to try and sell them their good.

Interruption marketing has taken many forms with the evolution of technology, especially in the media.  Commercials placed within a form of entertainment is the most common scenario.  Other forms include telemarketing, billboards, sale booths, mail promotions and nowadays pop-ups and web display ads.  What these all have in common is that these usually end up annoying the person receiving the message.

As a result of this undesirable interruption marketing, consumers got creative trying to find ways of blocking these unwanted messages from interrupting their form of entertainment.  These methods included caller ID for telephones, TiVo for Television and ad blocking for internet software.  This became a big problem in the marketing industry.  Interruption campaigns are already costly because the targeting is limited and audiences vary greatly throughout traditional mediums.  Now with consumer being able to block content, companies were pushing out a lot of material that would never make it to the consumer, resulting in a loss of time and money.

It wasn’t until the inception of the internet that marketers began to realize there was another way to market to consumers.  This new way didn’t interrupt but instead content that is relevant is found to be appealing, engaging consumers. It gives companies a way to build a relationship and understand the people that were buying their product and connect with then, like never before.  This new type of marketing was based not off interruption, but attraction based marketing.

Modern Attraction-Based Marketing

Due to the abrupt nature of interruption based marketing, people eventually grew tired of ads.  There used to be a time when interruption marketing was widely accepted, because interruptions were less frequent.  However, with the rise of the internet and the sudden overload of information, people are exposed to about 2,000 interruptions every day.  Consumers got to the point where they could not tolerate interruptions any longer, giving birth to a new method of marketing based on attraction, where the customers browse and research content of interest, instead of having pushed out at them.

Attraction is a very strong form of influence.  Aligning your values with what your customer finds important can make them want to do business with you.  The significance of the demonstration of values and morality became known as a branding. Attraction based marketing ignited a revolution where a majority of people were not told what to buy but the consumers themselves dictated the market themselves. Branding was always a small part of every company’s marketing plan, but attraction marketing made branding essential.  A brand is what people think of or associate with your company, it’s what makes them think of you when they need something.  It’s the relationship you have with your consumers and that’s the building blocks to attraction marketing.

Let’s look at Apple, for example.  Apple has grown to deliver an image of creative design, useful innovation and thinking different that has won the hearts of many people.  Apple customers are extremely loyal to the Apple brand because they associate with it, they are proud of it. Apple itself has been described not as a tech company but a marketing company, one of the best.

In another example, Netflix is a huge player in attraction based marketing.  By taking what you watch and building an algorithm, Netflix is always providing you with movies that are, “recommended for you.” The algorithms are taken a step further and used for acquisition of new content.  Before Netflix Originals began, Netflix took data from Netflix algorithms and noticed a large amount of people who watched Kevin Spacey in American Beauty also watched UK’s version of House of Cards.  Thus was born the U.S. House of Cards with Kevin Spacey which has become a phenomenal source of Netflix content.

When considering attraction based marketing, the best method is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  Think like the customer themselves and align your values so that you deliver the content they want.  Give the customers what they want and they will love you for it.  Attraction based marketing is built off the data your customers willingly give you.  The great part about this is that the data you compile makes it easier for you to target them and give them exactly what they want.  It also saves you a lot of money because you can narrow your audience instead of throwing stuff at a wall and hoping it sticks.

Why both are Important

Attraction based marketing and Interruption each have their pros and cons but ideally the best practice would be to find a balance between the two.  The biggest problem with attraction based marketing is that it requires interruption in order to build a solid consumer base.  You can attract people from the start but it will take you a very, very long time.  Conversely, the biggest problem with interruption based marketing is that it can be very expensive and intrusive compared to attraction based.  Unfortunately, there is no secret formula to balance out these two methods because every company is different, and every audience is different.

What you will need a lot of is patience and time (and money).  The difficult part and the part that causes many business owners to lose patience is finding the sweet spot so you can interrupt while attracting.  If you want to do both you have to learn to be an entertainer.  In entertainment, there is a sense of giving customers what they want and most importantly, building anticipation.  People love a good story and if your brand can tell a story that attracts people it just might make them forget that they’re being interrupted.

Stories can be lined with world issues, cultural views and company values.  It helps if the cause is relevant to your product and brand, but being involved in whatever is trending in your industry can attract huge communities that can result in what every company dreams of, to go viral.

So give yourself some time to brainstorm what your company’s values are and how you can align them to your audience’s values.  Think of great and creative ways to attract your customers and try and incorporate interruptive techniques to balance the two.  Interruption marketing doesn’t have to be annoying but it is necessary if you want to build a following.  Then once you build yourself the credibility and respect that comes with having a strong brand, bringing in customers might just be as simple as keeping your current customers happy.


To learn more Attraction and Interruption Marketing and how to apply it to your business, visit or give us a call at 845.202.7087.

Special to Hudson Valley Public Relations, Dan Agudelo VP, Content Marketing HVPR

What is Attraction and Interruption Based Marketing?
Article Name
What is Attraction and Interruption Based Marketing?
A brand is what people think of or associate with your company, it’s what makes them think of you when they need something.  It’s the relationship you have with your consumers and that’s the building blocks to attraction marketing.
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Hudson Valley Public Relations
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