When preparing this column, I thought to myself, “I really should write an article that is more positive in outlook.”
After all, if you have a look at what I’ve written here in the last year, you might have noticed that I seem to spend a lot of time complaining about the approaches that companies take with respect to the Internet. This comes about because I remained stunned about the often silly things that people do when trying to discover business opportunity online.
Positive, positive, positive! That would be my outlook! I set about to write an upbeat column extolling the marvels of business in this brave new on-line world.
That is, until I read a little piece in Profit magazine, There was the head of one of Canada’s leading advertising agencies, Rick Padulo, responding to the question, “what’s the key to marketing successfully on the Web.”
His response? “The key to winning sales through the World Wide Web is an outstanding, user friendly web site that allows a secure transaction to be completed.” Not only that, but he notes that “once you’ve got the best damn site for selling shoes on the Web, then you’ve got to do some advertising to let people know where you are.”
We live in fascinating times, when we have this new technological world emerging, and one of the self-confessed visionaries of the Canadian advertising scene just doesn’t get it. I’ve got two problems with the comments made by Rick – and will note in advance that he seems to have fallen into the trap that so many others have.
Let’s take the issue of on-line sales. Many of the people that you and I listen to these days would have us believe that the Internet is poised to soon be some giant global shopping bazaar – and that all you need to do is plug in to share in the riches. Heck, here’s Rick Padulo, telling you that you can sell shoes online! All you’ve got to do is set up an on-line store!
You read this type of statement, and then you come across some of the awesome numbers which are being tossed about — and it’s hard to bring yourself back to reality. Heck, you might have read recently that one official with IBM, in a speech in Toronto, predicted that we would soon see $1 trillion in sales occurring on the Internet. $1 trillion! Oh, on-line shopping nirvana! I want my share!
It’s a true orgy of enthusiasm! And from my perch, I’m watching as all kinds of on-line giant shopping malls are created, and sit in awe as companies rush about to put in place the tools that support on-line credit card transactions. It’s amazing, the misguided enthusiasm which is out there. In the run of a week, I see so many schemes being launched for selling things online that I’ve come to call them the “brilliant scheme of the day.”
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Tags: business, Internet, phone cards