Wednesday, June 15, 2005

When good people give bad advice, the inappropriate use of technology in marketing

Chris Doran has some dubious advice on Marketing Profs.

Five Ways Technology Can Boost Profitability

1. Identify anonymous Web site visitors

Currently, Web site registration is the leading tool for gathering information about potential customers and generating leads through your Web site. As long as every potential customer completes the registration process, it's a great tool. But many of your potential customers never register, or don't finish registering because they get the jitters for one reason or another. …

First of all, if you are asking users to register to retrieve information from your corporate web site, you urgently need to get over yourself. The only reason to ask visitors to register is for the purpose of conducting secure transactions.

Today, there are powerful tools that can identify visitors to your Web site even if they do not register while they are visiting your Web site. These tools automatically lookup visitors IP addresses so you have are presented with a compiled list of identities of the anonymous companies--and thus potential customers--who are visiting your Web site.

While some IP addresses cannot be linked to an individual company, our research shows that you can identify the company affiliations of more than 50% of the anonymous visitors to your site. And once you know the names of the companies, you can follow up and nurture their interest. …

Tracking visitors makes sense if you use that information to indentify your primary vertical markets. If you are sending prospects email on the basis of their visiting your website, you are pushing your luck.

With new technology recently introduced into the marketplace, you can get to know your customers through their online behavior. You can know what Web pages they have viewed on your site. You can know how long they stayed on each one. You can know what emails they've read and which ones they've forwarded. And you can know what product information they've downloaded.

Markets are about conversations, not surveillance. Avoid secret police market research.

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