Confusing Technical Prowess With Good Internet Marketing

I’m always cautious when I start working with a person that “knows technology”.  There tends to be a belief that understanding technology automatically translates into expert email/online marketing.  These intiatives typically end up being on what call “the bleeding edge”.  Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should

As a rule of thumb before implementing a high tech or new-to-you technoligy ask “How does this enhance or improve my message to my target audience.?”  If you can’t think of a relatively simple answer within five seconds, it’s probably worth rethinking.

Here’s an example I recently encountered.  A client said, “I’m pretty technically savvy.  I can get the images into my emails.”  When I asked what emails were included in the “image makeover” and why, I got a blank stare.  Finally the answer was, “to make it look better”.  I had two problems with that answer.  One the layout didn’t make anything look better and two”looking better” doesn’t help the recipient.  Had he said, “It drew attention to an offer.” or “It instills confidence that the company is legitimate through a professional branded layout.”, I’d have thought he was on to something.  Unfortunately, he had no good reason to ad an image that, in reality, had little or nothing to do with the email’s content and made it look less professional.

Same thing goes for newer technology.  If there is no useful and interesting content that can be updated on at least a semi-regular basis, don’t start a blog.  If time and energy can’t be put into doing a professional video segment, don’t do a video podcast.  And never use a piece of technology because “it’s the next big thing.”  Keep it simple and useful and there will always be an audience.  Anything else will end up being overly complicated, useless, ignored, and potentially damaging to you or your company.

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