Is Interruption Marketing Ok?

I’m convinced content marketers and brand journalists can learn a lot from traditional media, and vice versa. We have different priorities, but we have some of the same goals: including getting a lot of visibility in the form of page views.

With that in mind, I wanted to bring attention to an interesting article I read last week by Quartz Senior Editor Zach Seward, “The Homepage Is Dead, and the Social Web Has Won, Even at The New York Times,” and use its points about media outlets to provide some takeaways for companies that market and sell to HR.

The article leads with a stunning statistic:

“Traffic to the New York Times’ home page fell by half in the last two years.”

But it then goes on to explain that overall traffic to The Times’ website is not down; readers are coming through the “side door” more often, as they are increasingly finding links to news articles from social media, email and other sources.

“…interestingly, on social we (consumers) tend to be more tolerant of push media.”

The Times’ online traffic patterns aren’t unique; other media sites have the same phenomenon. As the article explains, this is a consequence of pull media becoming less important than push media. Pull media—examples of which are home pages, section fronts and mobile apps—rely on readers actively requesting them.

Push media—things such as social media status updates, photos of friends and news articles—come at readers regardless of whether they requested them or are interested in them. This is a type of interruption marketing (the opposite of Permission Marketing, a term coined by Seth Godin), which became a big no-no the past decade. But interestingly, on social we (consumers) tend to be more tolerant of push media—and find much of our information via it.

The success of push media is driven in part because far more people now get their news from time to time throughout the day than check news at regular times. How many times have you sat in bed scanning your social sites only to stumble upon a really interesting article on a subject you never sought out to research?

What does this mean for marketers?  See my post on HRmarketer’s blog for three ways this effects HR marketers.


Design PR Social Media Trends
Is Interruption Marketing Ok?
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About the Author

Eric Anderson
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About / Bio

Eric Anderson brings more than eight years of journalism experience, and works with HRmarketer and fisher VISTA clients to create compelling thought-leadership content. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, he spent more than five years as an editor during his career in newspapers, but also covered a variety of beats, including sports, government and the environment. Earlier, he worked in high technology for Silicon Systems and Texas Instruments, writing computer programs that analyzed production data. He lives in Corralitos, CA with his wife, daughters and cat. He enjoys playing and watching sports, reading and spending time with his family.

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