The internet has brought thousands of unintended consequences. Not only have the buying practices of consumers changed so have the selling, marketing and reading practices of users.
Today anyone with a computer and a free web page can claim to be an expert. The unintended consequence of that is that it is more difficult for consumers to distinguish the legitimate sellers and experts from those merely claiming to be. This change is cataclysmic and underscores the need for the buyer to beware. The rules have become fuzzy. Practices that once identified the scam artists are now being adopted by legitimate consultants.
It is drawing new boundaries around legitimate practices. Legitimate marketers and consultants are asked to market or promote up and coming experts, speakers who have caught the dream! They KNOW they can “make it” but the promoter has to “make it” in the interim. So even legitimate promoters are now charging upfront fees to market debutant speakers. That was a practice only exercised by the less than legitimate promoter in the past. Commissions for actual speaking fees hover around 30% and retainers are fluid.
Advertising has changed. Email lists are king. Lists are gathered and coveted. Emails promise sure success. They offer a new approach, tout secrets that will sell, offer free webinars or phone calls and pressure the consumer to buy before the clock runs out and this unique, world changing offer evaporates into the ether.
Another unintended change is that readers now have tolerance for 140 characters, no adverbs, no cleverly crafted word scenes just 140 characters telling who you are, what you do and how you can benefit them. The skill of writing has forever changed. No more specks of dust practicing their ballet moves every time the door opens and disturbs their slumber, just tell me about the dang door. No don’t tell me, show me through Alex’s sensations. “The cold of the metal handle bit Alex’s hand. Annoyed, he thrust the door open, it hurled itself back at him from the wall. She wondered why he swore. “
It’s a new world people. We used to be able to categorize generations by their buying practices. We knew that this generation will be enticed by this form of advertising, and the younger generation by that, not now, the internet is the generation equalizer. The age of those entering the social media currently is 50 and on. The twittersphere speaks with the same 140 characters to them all, Pinterest with 500 characters. Words are replaced by images, bit like the new registers at McDonalds. And not just any images but lifestyle promoting, beautifully focused and carefully shot photographs.
Advertising is wrapped in the language of social media, it takes on the form of a friend to friend chat, and is inserted into time lines. Profiling the consumer via the internet choice made has been heralded as the next pot of gold and the internet’s rainbow end. But - having written to my facebook friends and reminded them I do not play games, and threatening to eat their farmville animals and burn their barns I am regaled with advertisements for games. It is not a precise science I gather.
The point is the new frontier is in cyber space, and instead of a horse and wagon pioneers ride this one with a keyboard and camera. Those who adapt win or at least tread water, those who don’t….