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Permission or Interruption

All marketing efforts fall into on of these two categories.

Permission marketing is gaining more and more semblance with people consuming from an increasing set of media sources. Meanwhile, interruption marketing is holding its own irrespective of the advances in the technology.

When both strategies work, it becomes extremely important to understand which strategy works in what context. If one is used in place of the other, you might not just fail to convert that user, but you might end up annoying her and making her wary of any future efforts you throw at her.

If your efforts involve e-mail marketing, or telemarketing, you would be better off using permission marketing. You will only end up annoying the user if you send her a barrage of promotional e-mails or calls when she has no interest in engaging with them. If your efforts focus on advertising on TV and other entertainment media, interruption marketing has proved to be the most successful.

With people spending an increasing amount of time on smart devices like their laptops, phones and PCs, either playing, reading, watching, listening or consuming content in any other manner, it becomes extremely important to understand how they interact with each application they use. If a person is engrossed in an article, she would hate to see an ad pop up mid way through the article. If she's playing a game like Temple Run, it can be frustrating to see an ad after every time she's caught by the monkey. At the same time, if she's browsing through her Facebook feed, ads that blend into the timeline (and interrupt her experience) can be quite successful. In fact, Facebook stock has come back to its IPO levels after reporting a big rise in mobile revenues thanks to this kind of advertising.

You are heading for trouble if you decide on device-specific strategies. That used to work when the functionality of different devices were clearly demarcated. Now, the demarcation is not at all clear. So it is foolish to go ahead with device-specific strategies. Whether you go for Permission or Interruption should only be decided by the engagement level of the user.

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