Sunday, 27 April 2008

If You Don’t Know The Answer, Ask Yourself

When you go to buy a new toy or plan a holiday where do you go for trusted advice? Well if you are like most people you spend some time on line doing some research, but you most likely ask a friend for recommendations. If this is the case, you are in good company.

A Neilson study showed that the top 3 sources for getting recommendations are:

78% from other consumers (friends)
63% newspaper articles
61% from consumers online they don’t know

The least trusted methods are:

34% search engine ads
26% banner ads on websites
18% text messages on mobile phones

So why are internet marketers continuing to push search engines, banner ads and text messages? The answer is simple, they will sell what they know, and not necessarily what is best. For too long, advertisers have delivered messages in one direction. Imagine trying to ask your TV a question?

Well, the internet is a social/ democratic medium. It is the first time in the history of mankind that everyone can contribute, comment and share ideas as a collective whole. When it is possible to have immediate access to personal endorsements or criticisms why look at advertisement?

We learn very early that advertising exists for 2 reasons:

1 it pays for the free stuff we get to watch
2 businesses have to convince us to buy stuff

So if you are a business and are wondering how to reach your online consumers, ask your self a simple question “what would I do”?

Advertising and marketing will be with us for a long time, but hopefully, online marketers will wake up and realise that the virtual world is a very different place.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Spam Does Not Come In A Can

Today I had to bid farewell to an important part of my life. Some 10 years ago I first initiated myself into the internet world by purchasing a domain; It was both fitting and exciting. For many years that "virtual address" was my only permanent address. As I travelled the world the only certain way for friends and family to stay in touch was through this address. Many times it served as back up for business as well, however, as time went by more unwanted spam started to appear. Yesterday the count was 2506 mails in slightly less than one day. This alone stuns me. But what was even more surprising was the number that was caught by the filter before it even reached my personal mail box.

After having a crash of our mail system I did some searching around and found that the catchall mail file had been tracking the overload for some time. More than 250,000 mails from spammers lay fallow in this box. Like a giant log jam on a river the flow of water had completely stopped.

Since there appear to be no apparent way to stop the onslaught I must reluctantly let go of this piece of my life. Dougs-world, or at least my mail address, will be laid to rest under an avalanche of spam. Not exactly a pleasant image, but the truth.

I usually do not go gently into the good night as the poem, and this time is no exception. However, sometimes you must realise that, whereas the war may still be won, the battle must be conceded.

With great sorrow, I concede.