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Sorry State Of Digital Marketing

A lot has been written about the advent of the Internet and the amount of data every individual with an Internet connection has access to. It is not just easy to access content on any topic one might think of, but it is equally easy to create content on any topic one might think of. This has resulted in the generation of an immense amount of content on the Internet.

If accessing and creating was one thing, then being able to instantly share it with all of the high and sundry that one knows has been a whole other thing. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and a host of other such sites have made this possible. Also, there are numerous file sharing sites that aid piracy of copyrighted content.

All of you must be very familiar with all of these and will find that this is nothing new. Its all been happening for a good few years now. So why am I talking about it now? Well, the marketing scene for nearly every product has changed as a result of this and very few products are actually making good use of the potential that these developments offer. And the way the products are currently making use of these developments has partially derailed the functionality of the Internet by adding a clutter of ads every place you go.

There are a large number of people starting their own websites with an intention of making money by attracting traffic to their sites which will invariably attract a clutter of ads. I don't really blame them. They see an opportunity to make a profit and they're extracting all they can. But how long before the users are fed up and stop visiting these sites? Or worse for the owners, stop clicking on the ads? I'm pretty sure most of you have already reached that stage where you have installed software that blocks ads or have trained your brains to filter them out before you even register its presence. Honestly, creating interesting digital ads is turning out to be a challenge for the marketers and I find it sad that very few are living up to that challenge.

Let me try to draw an anology to picture how the real world would be to you if most digital marketing techniques were implemented in the physical world.

If you're like me, you'd probably go watch a movie and eat out after that every weekend. Let's say you go to the nearest multiplex to watch the movie and then choose one of the five restaurants around the multiplex for the meal. The multiplex starts monitoring your visits and will build a record of your past visits and will realise that you visit only on weekends. So will the restaurants. Now, these restaurants will buy data of your visits from the multiplex. Then, every Friday night, you will receive a text/email from the multiplex informing you of all the shows scheduled for the weekend. Also, you will receive similar communication from all five of the restaurants informing you of the speciality for the weekend, and perhaps will even offer you a discount on the bill as they will undoubtedly have realised from the data that they're competing with others for your business. This is just one activity from your life. Imagine such communications popping up on your inbox for every predictable activity of yours.

A lot of you might find this irritating and will opt out of being notified. I definitely would. Which probably explains why most multiplexes and restaurants hesitate to do this. So why do the products take a different approach when it comes to dealing with our Internet presence?

I think the difference lies in the fact that products find it a lot cheaper to market to our online presence as compared to following the same technique in the physical world. Also, they probably feel that the user community is so used to the clutter that they actually half-expect it, making these techniques more of a hygiene factor for the products than a real relationship with their customers.

A product will only attract customers for repeat purchases if it adds more value than its competitors. Since everyone is following these techniques today, the time has arrived for an overhaul of the digital marketing strategy. It is time to make the online communication more innovative and to build a lasting online relationship with the customers that will translate into hard rupee profits.

What do you think?

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