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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