Chapell & Associates

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tracking the Techie

iMediaConnection - September 29, 2005

ThinkMetrics' Brandt Dainow reports on how members of the techie community are working hard to subvert your online metrics -- and why. If you work in web marketing there are some people who hate you. They hate you with a passion that's bordering on the fanatical, especially if you're involved in web metrics. The reason they hate you is that you count unique visitors.
They also hate you for presenting ads online. These people will do everything they can to avoid being counted. Some of them will also try to make your count of other people inaccurate.
These people are your techies. They are your web site administrators, your UNIX gurus, your online programmers, your IT support staff. If you sell or market IT products, or analyze that audience, you've got a fight on your hands.

The Chapell View
Brandt Dainow writes an interesting piece. I recognize that there are people out there that philosophically don't like being profiled. Some of them don't want any organization to ever have any data on them at all. Some are even ideologically opposed to the concept of Advertising. I think that's fine - different strokes and all.

There are some people who are NEVER going to embrace what marketers do. And that's ok. I'm not going to spend a heck of alot of time thinking about them. Most of these people are wicked smart, and are ten steps ahead of every marketer that attempts to obtain and use their information.

Having said that, I think we can all learn something from this mindset. Here's a quote from Brandt's article, which I'm pretty sure was quoting the Slashdot forum:

"If you want us to view your ads, make your content worth our time, and more importantly, make your ads worth viewing, unobtrusive, and not an annoying flashing noisy mess."

Hard to argue with that - while I realize that it's much harder to deliver a relevant ad unless you know something about the audience. Nevertheless, we as marketers tend to err on the side of intrusiveness over engagement - annoyance over entertaining. That needs to end.

Another thing - these comments are strikingly similar to those I've seen from teen and tween research. The kids know what they want, and they know where to find it. And most importantly, they tend (even more so than the techies) to view all ads as annoying. Maybe they grow out of these notions in the same way that I no longer see Duran Duran as being particularly cool.

But perhaps the techie community is the canary in a coal mine for what's coming ten years down the road...

Of course, by then everyone will be working for Google. (:
posted by Alan on Wednesday, September 28, 2005

© 2005 by Alan Chapell & Associates LLC