I stopped to get coffee this morning on my drive into town, and watched with fascination as another customer stood and poured packet after packet of sugar into his coffee. He was grabbing two and three at a time, and by my estimate there were 30 or more packets in his medium sized cup by the time he finished several minutes later. He actually requested a spoon to mix the slurry, since the provided plastic stirrers simply bent double.
That experience got me to thinking during the remainder of my drive about excesses in our lives, and I wondered if this held true for us in when it comes to the field of Internet Marketing. When is enough, well, simply enough? Someone probably has named a law for it, but demand in our lives always seems to fill capacity. Our lifestyles seem to expand to consume our income. Hard drives fill up. I remember my first Mac notebook computer had a 20 MB hard drive. Oh the joy after a couple of years when I doubled it to 40 MB, allowing me to keep up with apps such as MS Office that seemed to be bloating with code even then. I couldn't envision a day when hard drives would store hundreds of gigabytes, or what we could do with all that space.
A 28 kbps dial-up modem allowed me to transfer text files and the occasional image, albeit slowly. That seemed fine at the time, but then came DSL, then cable modems, and now fiber optics. At each step consumption seemed to keep pace, with large video files that could be downloaded in a reasonable amount of time, and now stream real-time.
That leads me to the field of Internet Marketing. On the negative side, there are certainly excesses when it comes to spam emails, and there is an ongoing battle with techniques to limit the number reaching our Inboxes. In terms of white hat marketing techniques, advances in bandwidths and device speeds are leading to rapid changes. A few years ago designers were placing waving flags and sparkles on web pages to attract user attention. This gave way to downloadable white papers and embedded video files, making the browsing experience more interesting and interactive for the user.
The key now is for us to use advances in technology to provide users with meaningful, rewarding experiences. Lists should be segmented so people receive mailings that they are interesting in reading. Use videos not just to grab attention, but to convey information to a website visitor that would be difficult or take too long to communicate with words alone.
In summary, we need to avoid going after the quick hit, the "sugar high" in our marketing approaches, because it rarely leads to loyal, long term customers. Providing fresh, targeted, meaningful content, and keeping abreast of advances in technology is a good way to build company awareness and brand loyalty.
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