Why You Need to Use Pattern Interrupt in Your Marketing

23 10 2012

From the time you wake up until the moment you close your eyes, you’re bombarded with marketing messages. You may even have dreams of the ads running in your sleep!

Most of the messages you see during the day just blend together without much notice. Many are of the “me too” variety. Either the owner or the advertiser is practicing the lazy marketing technique of simply copying a competitor’s ad with very little real change. Maybe the original ad had some creativity to it, but now it’s lost in a sea of similarity.

For your ad to have any chance of succeeding, you must use “pattern interrupt marketing” as one component of your message.

What’s pattern interrupt marketing? As the name implies, it’s marketing that stops a prospect in their tracks and engages them. Your message must be able to capture a prospect’s attention if it’s to have any chance of being noticed.

Imagine you’re driving down a street looking for a place to eat lunch. The street is packed with similar looking eateries on both your left and right. The buildings all look the same and have signs with business names on them. The business owners have all copied each other in building design, colors, and layout so much that it’s very difficult to tell them apart. But one smart business owner has hired someone with a colorful costume and given them a professional-looking sign with delicious-looking food photos and a message that clearly states all the benefits of their restaurant; in addition, if you come in today, you’ll receive a great discount. The guy holding the sign interrupts your attention, and the offer lures you in to try the food.

That’s what pattern interrupt marketing is all about.

Now, you could try any number of gimmicks to grab a prospect’s attention, but there are only a few things that will truly capture their interest and hold it long enough for you to make an impression. Here are three steps to get you started:

  1. Make a list of problems your product or service can solve.
  2. Pick just one as the focal point for your marketing message.
  3. Think about the types of language and visual cues your customers would use to best understand this message.

With those elements in place, you can better plan your marketing.

Pattern interrupt marketing can be used in every type of business and in every type of marketing communication. Whether on a billboard, through direct mail, via email marketing, or even at a trade show, pattern interrupt marketing can be very effective. The goal is not only to capture the prospect’s attention by doing something different or unexpected but also to encourage them to take further steps with you once they’re engaged.

Pattern interrupt marketing is only the first step in a process, but in some ways, it’s the most important step. After all, if you can’t capture their attention, the rest won’t matter.

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