intrusive marketing
Are you using passive — or intrusive — marketing for your website?

ORLANDO — There are different ways to conduct marketing. One of the most controversial ways, and considered by some to be among the least effective options, is intrusive marketing.
Intrusive Marketing has been around as long as businesses have tried to sell products, and have been used in a variety of different ways. The one connection is that consumers appear to get fed up with their methods, and often rebel. Think of consumers who get tired of telemarketing phone calls when they’re sitting down to dinner, or those who turn on their computers or laptops and discover their mail boxes clogged with junk mail spam. Think of travelers getting annoyed with take-out menus hanging on the door knob of their hotel room, or people complaining about large, unsightly billboards.
The concept of intrusive marketing can apply to digital and social media marketing as well. If you want people to know about your products, how do you avoid becoming the latest negative statistic in the field of intrusive marketing?
Good question.

Social Media marketing

A growing number of studies indicate that people are getting increasingly annoyed with marketing messages popping up on their social media feeds, particularly from companies and accounts they don’t follow. Since Facebook and Twitter both allow companies and individuals to use paid messages, that can translate into hundreds of ads bombarding someone’s Twitter feed. Over the course of time, one man’s message can become another man’s unwanted spam.
The key here is having a smart strategy. Before you ready your ad for a Twitter or Facebook blast, think about what’s in it. Is there a high quality to your content, beyond just asking people to buy something? Are you making it relevant to people?
Most importantly, are you making it fun? Visually appealing? Engaging in a way the customer didn’t expect?
And is it entertaining enough that people on Facebook and Twitter will opt to share it with their friends and followers?

Consumer Resistance

There’s a term for people who get tired of intrusive marketing: it’s called Consumer Resistance, and it refers to the lengths people will go to avoid seeing your marketing campaign.
How far will they go? How about lobby the federal government to place restrictions on certain forms of intrusive marketing. The best example is the strong volume of complaints about intrusive telemarketing calls that led to the creation of a National Do Not Call Registry, which is enforced by the federal government.
That’s a good example of a common wisdom in the field of marketing: don’t create a marketing campaign that’s annoying rather than insightful. The key is to avoid making customers feel like they’re being slammed by your message. Instead, you want to entice them with something that’s interesting, creative, and eye-catching.

Passive Marketing

If you’re going to step into a customer’s personal space, do it in an engaging and positive way. One good way to think about this is to consider the pros and cons between Passive and Intrusive marketing.
In the minds of a lot of consumers, intrusive marketing will often involve you invading new and existing customers’ space or time. A good example is a pop-up on a website they’re visiting, which a lot of people find annoying since it takes away from what they were trying to read.
Passive marketing, on the other hand, is viewed as a way to market products without annoying or inconveniencing your customers.
A good example is placing a banner ad on a popular website – in other words, putting it on a site that people want to visit. The reader can choose to read your ad, and click on the link, or ignore it. But it’s not an example of shoving the ad in their face.
Not all businesses prefer passive marketing, of course. Some companies believe the only way to break through the competition is to use the more aggressive model of intrusive marketing.
For most companies, the decision will come down to a question of their corporate image and how they want to be perceived by the public.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Koby’s New Home”. Contact him at

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