Tuesday, March 4, 2014
New E Commerce Paradigm Is Bad for Business
(Warning, no bourbon content.)
So I'm browsing a popular social media site and, of course, it is peppered with advertising. I see a small ad for a furniture manufacturer. I like the design of the furniture in the small ad and would like to see more, so I click on it.
What I have done, of course, is normally considered marketing gold. After viewing a small sample of the company's wares, I have elected to voluntarily look at more of their advertising material. In any normal world and in any normal advertising medium, the advertiser would move heaven and earth to put nothing between me and the further consumption of their advertising.
But not this advertiser, and not in this medium.
The advertiser actually blocked the content and demanded my email address first.
Are they insane?
This is not the first time this has happened to me on this particular site and I'm sure people are doing it elsewhere too. It appears to be the new paradigm. Too bad it is fundamentally wrong.
I certainly understand the value of capturing email addresses. When people buy from me I like to capture their email addresses so I can, as they say, inform them of additional products and service that they may find interesting. But requiring an email address just to look through the window? That is the stupidest business model ever.
Businesses large and small generally go wrong when they put what they want over what the prospective customer wants. I always tell my marketing clients, don't think about what you want to tell the customer, think about what the customer wants to know. Anticipate and answer the customers questions and you'll get the sale, whether or not you ever get a chance to make your 'pitch.'
That wisdom is as old as the hills and nothing about all this new technology has changed that or any of the other basic principles of selling. Shame on whoever thought of this and shame on the advertisers who are accepting it. Sure, I could give them a gmail address I never use, but if their business instincts are so poor, I have no interest in doing business with them.
Looking at it that way, maybe they did me a favor. I'm sure it wasn't on purpose. If you believe you know the rationale for this, please feel free to share it, but I doubt you'll convince me it's a good idea.