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What Is Reception Marketing?

RJ Licata, Sr. Director of Marketing

Key Points

  • Reception marketing is an approach to marketing that connects consumers to the information they will find most valuable according to where they are in the customer journey.
  • Reception marketing challenges the efficacy of traditional PESO models in today’s marketing landscape.
  • Owned asset optimization is one example of a reception marketing strategy that prioritizes a brand’s owned assets.

“Sell me this pen.”

In this statement-turned-tactic, we see a reflection of modern marketing, which is characterized by interruptive strategies that are primarily aimed at selling, any time and all the time. And yes — a strategy can still be considered disruptive when consumers are given a choice to opt in or out.

More often than not, today’s consumer just isn’t ready nor are they willing to transact without establishing some form of a relationship first. And it has to be a meaningful one.

So, connecting with consumers today requires a different approach. This becomes even more true when taking into account the evolving, winding buyer’s journey, which makes it that much more difficult for brands to know and keep a pulse on where they need to show up.

Defining reception marketing


Reception Marketing

Reception marketing is an approach to marketing that meets consumers in their moment of need — regardless of channel — with the information they’d find most valuable based on where they are in the customer journey.

Using consumer signals to derive insights, reception marketing tunes into the ebbing and flowing frequencies of consumers.

Brands can use these signals to understand unique consumer needs and pain points in a given moment of time — then strategically connect with them through content optimized to solve their problems.

A brief history of marketing strategy

Over time, marketing shifted from interruption to permission-based marketing, which focuses on customer choice. But this approach is often still very disruptive, leaving much to be desired when it comes to connecting with today’s consumers.

Interruption Marketing – Brands interrupt customers’ experience to promote products and services.

Permission Marketing – Audiences are given the choice to opt-in to promotional messages.

Reception Marketing – Brands provide solutions to consumers when and where they ask for them.

This is the gap reception marketing aims to fill.

Reception Marketing Timeline

How reception marketing works

Reception marketing puts consumer connection at the forefront by aligning a brand’s marketing assets directly with consumer needs, even if the need isn’t a transactional one.

This means that, if consumers are looking to better understand a concept in your industry, you shouldn’t jump to selling them on how your product can help. Not yet. This will only serve to annoy at best and break trust at worst.

Consumer signals inform strategy

In reception marketing, brands need to be responsive to consumer behavior data in order to build a successful strategy. Reception marketing strategies focus on quality sourcing and analysis of that data to generate insights that are then used in asset optimization. 

This method makes the assets brands create more consistent, discoverable, and aligned with real consumer needs.

The strategy becomes a cycle — first focused on consumer behavior data, then on your asset stack:

  1. A consumer begins a search for a solution to a specific need across a number of different platforms, leaving signals behind about the problems they’re facing.
  2. Marketers intentionally listen to and analyze those signals in order to develop insights into the intent of the consumer.
  3. Content is then developed and optimized according to those consumer insights.
  4. Consumers are met with valuable content that aligns with their needs, and that provides a memorably positive experience.
  5. Brands create a strong connection that generates equity and trust, laying the foundation for future conversions.

In this way, reception marketing begins to flip the traditional PESO model on its head.

OAO: A reception marketing strategy

One way to execute reception marketing is by starting with the brand assets you own and control in a strategy called owned asset optimization (OAO). Through OAO, a brand’s entire asset stack is evaluated for opportunities to gain more control over consumer experiences with your brand. 

By prioritizing owned assets, brands maintain creative and technical control of their content and can build experiences tailored to customer needs. Brands can also manage and influence assets through this approach, keeping messages aligned across platforms and channels.

Reception marketing vs. traditional digital marketing

In traditional forms of digital marketing, it’s common practice to largely disregard the target audience in an attempt to be for and speak to everyone. As a result, brands push products and services before consumers are ready to make a decision.

Traditional approaches also often skew channel-first. Content strategies are built around the channel or business goal at hand rather than around the information or experiences consumers are asking for.

In reception marketing, the consumer becomes the strategic focus as they embark on their winding journey and leave valuable behavior data behind.

This move from channel to consumer-first allows brands to better identify and understand when, where, and how to connect with them.

Read our article about OAO vs digital marketing for more.

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Owned Asset Optimization (OAO) | The Foundational Guide

May 1, 2023 Read Article

The value of reception marketing

Understanding the importance of real consumer connections is critical for brands that want to get the most impact and ROI out of their marketing efforts. 

An approach that prioritizes providing value to an audience when they’re in need before they make a purchase earns the trust necessary to make this kind of connection.

Reception marketing positions brands as trusted, reliable guides for consumers as they navigate their modern journeys in real time, no matter the direction they might take.

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