A few months ago I wrote about how the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
And then I realised that the problem is worse than I thought.
My basic thesis is this: digital (direct) marketing is now run by the IT department and not by the marketers. The result: marketing is getting worse, not better.
A case in point is some recent research I have been doing into Salesforce.com and the force.com cloud computing community. I must have typed my information into their website ten times over the last week. So far, I have had one email from them and no other follow-up.
If the company that makes sales CRM software can’t use it to funnel me into some form of suspect/prospect/customer funnel, then what chance for the rest of us?
But now I want to turn this around a little bit. You see, the problem (or is it the opportunity?) is not with the IT department. It’s with us. We just don’t know what we’re talking about. Probably because we have allowed power to be devolved to the IT department; maybe because it’s all so complicated and we do woolly creative things – because that’s who we are.
Direct marketers! Our lack of knowledge of what this stuff is, this digital stuff, is probably the greatest crime/opportunity on the planet.
For me, there is one company which is getting scarily close to providing us with the right tools and platform for the future: Facebook.
But if you don’t have a Facebook account . . . if you haven’t looked into Facebook advertising . . . if you didn’t follow F8 (if you don’t know what F8 is) . . . if you didn’t know that Facebook gets more traffic than Google . . . if you don’t understand the consequence of that last sentence . . . then you are part of the problem.
If we don’t or can’t understand the technology, where it is going and what it means, then we have virtually no chance. We might as well step aside and let those who can, do!
As direct marketers, I challenge you to tell me I am wrong, show me how you get it, give me a case of one direct marketer who truly gets it . . . because I don’t see any case studies, anywhere, of anyone doing anything remotely 2.0 and making it work.
And I don’t mean Dell selling a couple of PCs on Twitter.