Would you like to join our conversation? Do you want a voice in what we are doing? Do you care? Or do you just want to be left alone to make up your own damn mind and vote with your purchase or lack there of?

I was chatting with a colleague the other day when the conversation lead us onto the subject about engaging (interacting with) our target audiences instead of interrupting (just getting stuff in front of) them, which of course has been a huge shift in strategic communications for the past few years. The area where we got into the most heated discussion was around the Yukon middle class and how to engage them. More specifically, the average middle class family who has a heck of a lot more on their mind then being bothered with our, or our clients agenda. I was left pondering this for most of the afternoon, are we choosing the right strategies for the right target audience. Later on that day I was sent this blog entry.

It is a fictional letter (of course it is) describing one average Joe’s frustration over a sausage company’s new campaign strategy to engage their audience in making viral video commercials on how to sell their product. The writer describes his disgust with this level of engagement and misunderstanding that this company really felt he had time or even cared that much about sausages to waste his free time taking part in this campaign.

So my question is, in the real world in the busy family lives of parents - are our expectations for their level of engagement too high? Or do we simply go back to trying to interrupt them in the hope that we can make a crack into their busy lives?


1 comment

by Geof Harries

How do you feel when somebody repeatedly interupts your thoughts, conversation and/or focus? It’s rude and annoying, right? That’s the same way it is with marketing and advertising. If the agenda is to interupt, the strategy is going to fail, especially in the long term. Agencies, along with their clients, should seek to facilitate, not instigate.

Speaking as one of those busy parents, my view is that there is still an old, problematic agency/client mindset of creating marketing campaigns rather than marketing programs. Campaigns are short in length, low in value and loud on noise. They interupt with the goal of quick results. On the other hand, a program can run for years and works on the basis of word-of-mouth, respect and actual benefit to the customer. The results may not be immediate, but they’ll come and they’ll keep coming, which is vastly more important and valuable.


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