• You are putting the technology in front of your customers?

  • Which is more important the technology or the customer?

    The one thing about the online world you can be sure of is change.

    It seems like every day there is a new technology being added

    which will make the internet more accessible.

    As online marketers, we strive to keep up with all these trends

    and incorporate them into our marketing arsenals.

    Going back to when the internet started, it was a bit of a nerdy

    place to be, with lots of people communicating in text only.

    Some savvy individuals saw how this growing community could be

    exploited and used to advertise their wares, and with all the

    hyperlinking joining them to other sites they could be easily


    Then the world wide web evolved from the basic internet adding

    pictures and multimedia and eventually adding videos too, and

    it became even more useful to marketing. Added in with email

    which made it possible to reach a large audience at low cost

    the web became irresistable to businesses.

    Each step forward brings with it even more opportunities for

    us online entrepreneurs to get our messages seen.

    But as it marches on into new technologies are we all missing

    the point somewhat?

    We all need our ads to be seen, but often we seem to be spending

    more time wrestling with new technology than actually working.

    Everyone is jumping on the blogging bandwagon at the moment

    and offering xml and rss feeds to get their messages out.

    Flash video, along with audio, and video streams is also being

    used extensively, and often unneccessarily to market products.

    But even more alarming is the reliance some people are placing

    on this new technology, to the point of abandoning traditional

    email and websites.

    Let me relate this recent story which actually happened.

    You are putting the technology in front of your customers?

    I received a newsletter which I read regularly, and

    like many others the owner was having problems with getting

    his email newsletter through spam filters. Like many newsletter

    publishers he had decided to publish his newsletter as a webpage.

    He started sending out regular emails when the newsletter was

    available, and including the link to read it. All ok so far.

    It was shortly afterwards I received an update from this newsletter

    telling me that it would no longer be available as a web page, but

    would now be an rss feed only. And telling me if I wanted to carry

    on reading I should download some software to do so.

    Whoa, backtrack there.

    Your subscribers can only read your newsletter if they download

    some extra software and learn how to use it?

    I emailed the owner to point out that I thought it was a bad idea.

    You want your subscribers to stick with you, make it easy for them,

    the reply I got was that I should join the 21st century, if I wanted

    to read his newsletter he would tell me how I should do it.

    No I don't want to read it that bad thanks anyway.

    So before you go running headlong into the latest technological

    marvels of the internet, think about what your customers need.

    Do they have the latest greatest browser to view your latest greatest

    multimedia masterpiece?

    Will they need to download some extra software just to view your


    Subscribers are humans too you know, and as humans they are fickle

    creatures. They will stick with you while the goings good and easy

    but make them work to stay with your newsletter and you're history

    as there are plenty more good newsletters they can get free.

    Flashy animations, and new technology can be impressive, but

    put your customers first, and use the technology only if it helps


    Doug Titchmarsh

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    released by Doug TitchmarshDoug Titchmarsh runs several sites including http://www.cashinonline.info andhttp://www.titchmarsh.com and publishesan e-zine for marketers
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