Advertising campaigns tend to fall into two camps:  interruption and permission marketing. Both have their pros and cons, but permission marketing is often a better investment.

Here’s a closer look at both types of marketing:

Interruption marketing

This is the generic term for any marketing technique that consumers did not ask to receive. It is aptly named because it interrupts other activities. With the advent of communication technology, interruption marketing includes direct mail, phone calls, or text messages that endorse a product.

Interruption marketing cuts into people’s activities and thoughts, with the aim of redirecting their attention toward a certain product or service. Interruption marketing can be used by different media, including television, radio, print, email, direct mail, and telemarketing.

When it works, interruption marketing is a quick way to increase sales volumes. The downside of interruption marketing, however, is that it can annoy the target market. Instead of catching the attention of the consumer, it can backfire and repel customers.

Interruption marketing is a capital-intensive campaign, targeting a wide audience with limited return on investment. There is no guarantee that interruption marketing will pay for itself in the form of increased business.

Permission marketing

Permission-based marketing is customer-centered, allowing the customer to be an active part of the marketing communication—not just a passive recipient. Permission-based marketing costs less than interruptive marketing because the campaign is targeted and more measurable.

Permission marketing gives companies real permission—not just presumed permission—to deliver messages to consumers.  It often has a high conversion rate and can effectively target and engage specific audiences. Through social media and website content, permission marketing can help companies build strong and lasting relationships with customers.

Interruption marketing has been around for many years, but it is slowly falling out of favor as permission marketing carries the day.