Disruptive Mass Marketing Is Out: An Open Letter to Yesterday's Marketer

Dear marketer of yesterday:

I’m writing to you as a peer, as I started my career in marketing and public relations in the mid-90s before email, and before the internet. And now, leading marketing for a forward-thinking content marketing agency, I feel the need to inform you that:

Disruptive mass marketing is out.

Here’s an example:

A pop-up ad shows up on my mobile phone when I’m trying to read an article, and the ad is clearly not targeted to me specifically. And the little “x” to close it is too hard to find, and too small, so I often get directed to a landing page that I don’t want to be on. This type of marketing is counterproductive and it makes me hate you.

Yes, I get it that you want me to buy your stuff, but the fact that I’m reading your article in the first place should give you an indication of interest. 

It’s an old concept designed around appeal to a mass audience where your message options were limited (major networks, limited radio stations, trade magazines, etc.). Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a great resource.

Buyer’s have a lot more control in sales process.

And most will not tolerate too much disruption. It’s fine if you want to place an offer in the article—I’ll gladly give you my information if I want more.

1-to-1, tailored marketing is in. 

In our Long Tail world of the internet, your job as a marketer is to add value to my buying journey by providing information I can use to make a decision. And no, I’m not ready to talk to a salesperson—at least not yet. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Using a solid content marketing program designed to add value is always a good approach. It works, and it’s non-invasive. And it lets me feel like I have all the control. 

I recommend the following tactics:

  • First and foremost, publish great content. Make sure it’s searchable and easy to find. Content includes articles, videos, infographics, white papers, webinars, and so on. I’m happy to give you my information if I like what you’re talking about. And if I give you my information, you should then:
  • Email me a pitch. Many complain about email, but I believe that it has truly replaced the cold call. And done in accordance with SPAM regulations, giving me the opportunity to opt out, I really don’t have a problem with it - it’s efficient, and I like efficiency. I prefer email because, if I don’t like your pitch, I can just delete it. So this is your opportunity to get creative and do some research. I do respond to emails that catch my attention and so do others. It may not work in the future, but it still works now. If I’m interested, I’ll schedule a time. Just yesterday, I responded to an email and scheduled a demo. 
  • Stop worrying so much about your SEO, and just try to add value with your content. Put keywords in strategic places AFTER you’ve developed content. Keywords should not be the number one reason for creating blog posts and other content.

In summary, your job as a marketer is not to broadcast your message to anyone and everyone that will listen and see what sticks. Your job is to add value and have direct discussions with your potential customers that have problems that you can solve. If you’re doing it right, I’ll find you, I’ll be appreciative of the information you’ve supplied to me, and (potentially) I’ll want to do business with you. 


Jason Myers

P.S. US Airlines, I'm talking to you. I DO NOT want to hear your pitch for your credit card after take-off when I'm trying to read and get comfortable in my seat on the flight. I will gladly pay extra for another airline just to avoid this. Yes, it's THAT annoying!