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Inbound marketing

Interruption Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

When we think of advertising on the internet, immediately flashing images and garish sounds leaping out of pop-up windows come to mind – attractive semi naked ladies inviting you to play poker and ominous buttons offering prizes with one click.

Interruption Marketing, also named Outbound Marketing, is the name given to this form of advertising on the internet, its definition being ‘to interrupt someone’s flow of activity in order to get their attention’. Examples range from pop-ups to search spam, and paid app reviews to video ads. Interruption Marketing may seize attention, but it also causes frustration and, in 90% of cases, is rejected by the user.

The Alternative

Inbound Marketing, the alternative, is advertising that doesn’t leap out at you off the page and force feed you urgent messages or attempt to entice you with bright flashing lights. Inbound Marketing ‘earns attention organically, without interrupting anyone’s path’, using techniques such as SEO and blogging, as well as organic app store visibility and press and public relations. In using these techniques when a customer is ready to buy they will choose a product or company by their own means – as through inbound methods their attention has been earned.

Earning Their Way In

The main differences between Inbound and Interruption Marketing reside in the care and effort invested in the marketing process; creating marketing that is personal – fitting around and even enhancing a web experience rather than interrupting it. Inbound marketing is driven and powered by creativity, talent and effort, and for this reason 90% of clicks on the web responding to marketing are in response to inbound, not interruption marketing. Inbound marketing is creating an online relationship between a customer and a business, meaning that customers choose their products or companies rather than being chased by them.

David Meerman Scott, an online marketing strategist, is one of many experts that view inbound marketing as businesses “earning their way in”; providing an interactive and collaborative experience – by sharing information in a blog, for example. Interruption or outbound marketing is, according to Meerman Scott, “buying, begging or bugging” onto the internet and into a persons flow of activity.

Inbound Marketing is therefore interacting with web-users and building up a trusting relationship so that they will come to you; a much more effective and collaborative method of building an online presence than forced interruption marketing.


Holly Strauss

A recent English Literature graduate, I love cycling around London and beyond. I have a passion for environmental well-being and the power of prose. Co-editor of The Patchwork Paper; an arts and activism ‘zine that publishes free opinion, fiction and encourages political (and personal) expression through art.


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