Connecting with the Connected Consumer

Some businesses just don’t get it

The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution, by Brian SolisI find it both amusing and rather sad that I still get emails from local businesses which do not seem to have moved in their thinking beyond somewhere in the latter end of the last century, at least as far as marketing is concerned.

You get the sense that they think email is hi-tech.

And some can’t even get that right. One local real estate agent, part of a nationwide group with fancy offices and distinctive uniforms, keeps sending me emails addressed:

Dear ,

That’s right, can’t even figure out how to do a mailmerge.

And that’s not all. At the foot of the message – which is pretty meager anyway, a plea to click on a link to go to a website, without telling me what it is about – is the following message:

If your e-mail program does not allow you to click directly on the above address (such as AOL), you will need to copy and paste the address into your World Wide Web browser (eg Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer).

Netscape Navigator?

I would unsubscribe but – in clear breach of the Australian Spam Act – there is no option provided to do so.

What was I saying about last century?

The New, Connected Consumer

Businesses like that real estate franchise don’t seem to realize that there is a new consumer abroad in the land today, what author Brian Solis in his book The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution
calls the social/connected consumer.

Unlike the traditional consumer – a member of an increasingly rare species – who studied print catalogs and maybe even read emails, and unlike the merely online consumer who takes to search engines and finds sites with relevant products or services, the new, connected consumer goes first to her social streams – her network on Facebook, on Twitter or on some other social platform.

Here’s where the home based business owner comes into her own. She has not spent all that dosh on fancy uniforms. She has not rented out expensive office space on Main Street. She can use her marketing budget on what counts – smart strategies and tactics to connect with her customers where they are.

And that is increasingly, overwhelmingly, on the social web.

That’s where the rubber hits the road these days.

Not on Netscape.

Or email.

(And yes, email still works – for some. Just not a great strategy for most of us to rely solely or mainly on that particular channel.)


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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. Netscape?lol There are free ways to advertise that get niche markets and is been great for me. I know of several free ways to get traffic but the time tested is a good addition.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more, Des. Email is most effective when used in an integrated marketing approach. By employing email, organic search, ppc, and social media marketing, businesses can target multiple consumer groups through a multiple channels. What’s more, with attribution modeling, marketers can later analyze which internet marketing strategies are the most effective for their business and target audience. And it definitely helps when you approach interactive marketing from a 21st century perspective ; )


  3. Anytime with marketing, it comes down to a hybrid solution. Email is one way but it should be backed up with other marketing channels as well. Whether making phone calls, print advertising or something else. The key like you mentioned above is to do each well and not to do it outdated otherwise you’d be alienating a number of potential clients.

  4. Does Netscape still even exist? LOL