"The worst thing that can happen to you today? You resume to doing the old things you was doing."
This is how Pasi Rautio started his sales speech in the presentation that I attended at Valkeakoski last week. He taught effective ways for how to do marketing in the internet.
Well, I think what he taught was correct because:
- I'm not doing bunch of the things he proposed and my website traffic has always been terrible.
- The presentation was sponsored by bunch of local well-known insurance companies that had strong presence on the stage. Despite that neither the guy nor the presentation ended up being dry like a ship biscuit.
- My bad expectations of the show crumbled away piece by piece as it went onwards.
- The guy noticed that people were watching at the clock near the end of the presentation and sympathized with people getting tired instead of interpreting that the presentation was getting dull.
For some while now I've checked out every investment and marketing lesson that has been coming up. I've looking up "double your freelancing rate" and "rich dad courses". I've picked up the books and thought out about the value of each advice they present.
Lots of people are pushing their own marketing lessons as marketing material. I've discussed about this stuff with my friends. Some advices are pretty good. Some advices seem very outdated and have good chance to be extremely harmful to your bottom line if you follow them. Some presentations such as above provide very basic information but are otherwise motivating you to go through the work involved.
Every single credible person marketing marketing have been tiering up their offerings. Most people haven't convinced me to check on how much their next tier offering costs. Although there seem to be a pattern everyone follows: You get free books and free seminars with some useful advices in them. Then there are books costing somewhere between 5 and 200 dollars. Finally there are courses that cost thousands of dollars.
I bought the book in the show and checked out that the next-tier offering costs more than I could afford. How it was presented behind a link led me to think Pasi wants you to check the price yourself so he can measure how many people turn away when they see the price. Very clever and pretty smart.
Snooping on what people do on your website has become extremely common and there's whole industry grown around the concept of peeping on what your customer is doing on your website.
There's variation to this. Some website authors follow you a little bit and the information they collect does not identify a specific person browsing the site. Others identify you to the point that they customize the adverts you get as you browse the web.
Even I am checking out on how long you read this page and whether this is the last page you visit on this website. About 80% of people leave out when they have read the page they landed to, and at average they spend out a minute here and then leave.
Interestingly people coming here seem to share lot of the same interests I have. I like walking and other kind of individual sports. I enjoy tinkering with computers and electronics. I like soups, cooking and really like to travel whenever there's an opportunity to it.
I also love listening computer game soundtracks and have some interest to fringe music genres. That Google doesn't seem to capture. But I haven't done much on that direction much anyway.
Some people find it unsettling that they are being followed everywhere around the web. At times I feel it disgusting and kind of worrying as well. Who knows how much these guys know about their customers based on what they're browsing? It's like constant surveillance done on you to see who would buy the stuff you're offering.
There are plenty of people who think they protect themselves from snooping and install noscript and Adblock script blockers.
There's pretty lots of funny things that have resulted from doing so and it's forming up to be its own phenomena.
First of all when these plugins strip out and redact content from the website they can break web apps. The web app programmers are pretty pissed if their apps don't work and people come to ask why they don't when they use an Adblock or noscript.
For years IE6, 7, 8, 9, 11 has defecated into their bowl when Microsoft has failed to keep their customers up to date with browser technology and there's been lot of cumbersome hacks done to keep websites working even on those browsers. Lots of persuasion has been done to get people upgrade or at least switch to Chrome or Mozilla so we can remove those hacks.
...Then they install Adblock and noscript and web sites with certain 'advert-like' tags break down and burn randomly, per-user-basis. Yeah! This is what we always wanted!! :D
But everyones computer cannot run these graphic intensive demos. How do you know whether your audience can watch the WebGL demos after you've put serious money to get them?
Easy! You peep on your customers and the global population a bit and see what kind of WebGL support they have. You even get pretty specific knowledge about what large crowds of people can run with their computers. You can do better than determine whether or not to buy the demo. You can ask the programmer to tailor the demo to your audience's computer hardware!
This guy holding WebGL stats has quite of challenges in tracking just the data and holding it up. The gain is he and lots of others people know exactly what kind of demo runs on the majority of computers that visit their websites.
One day Adblock lists decided his website tracks people and sucks. Therefore they started to drop out his CDN script from the websites. I heard he saw a noticeable dip in his statistics.
A service that is obviously transparent and useful for everyone who opts in! Even for the people who don't opt into it. Yeah, it collects information about you. And yeah, you don't know what else it collects about you.
But you know, you should do lot more than use Adblock to not be seen. People who REALLY want to track you have enough money and resources to do it even if you do it hard for them. By using Adblock you drop out the guys who would track you for your and their benefit and leave the guys who track you for just their own benefit.
There's lot more shady about Adblock. It's pretty good at blocking ads so it could be also used to remove or rewrite sentences on the website or redirect adverts. That just depends on whether your Adblock author is a crook or not.
Then there are the blocking lists. Every single Adblock plugin doesn't start adblocking from blank. Instead they hold up blocking lists. Those blocking lists are maintained by anonymous people. You're unable to obtain their address or otherwise determine who they are really.
Things may have changed since we checked this last time.. But try it and see if you can find out the identity of that guy running the Adblock lists! Is there a reason you should you trust an Adblock vendor more than a website claiming to collect webgl statistics about you?
And who could you trust? Could you trust someone? Anyone?
Also after I wrote this post I heard about things changing a bit, not into better direction though. Today there are more of Adblock lists. And both black and whitelists have been introduced.
But maintainers of Adblocking lists don't have much time to give. Some advertisers temporarily make their adverts nonintrusive to creep into the whitelist and then make them intrusive again staying on the whitelist this way. It's bit like with spam, except that there's no automated well known algorithms to prune intrusive adverts away from the sites like there are for spam.
Well now you have examples of reasons why people would like to track you, and examples of reasons why people want to use an Adblock. It probably helps to get the whole picture here about people and corporations tracking you on the internet.
Why study marketing?
There's a trope that technically inclined people aren't good marketers, support or sales people. That trope is sort of true. My kind of people aren't good at marketing themselves and usually don't do very good living with work either.
Reality is that if you haven't been studying sales and marketing you tend to suck at it. And you will suck really bad. It's not born in anyone that he can show up and sell stuff from a halt stand to you.
Low stresshold and really poor support and customer service quality is why phone advertising has so bad reputation that people avoid buying stuff from you just because you're calling them by phone. Why are phone callers so bad at their job? Well they are ordinary people who haven't had studies on marketing. People who have had studies do something smarter.
Really many phone advertisers fail and totally fuck it up. It's not uncommon to see people avoiding companies and brands because they have been doing advertising via a phone and then mix up something in the process.
And remember the TV-sales guys who try to sell you ordinary stuff as incredible inventions, and if you buy it will turn out the product doesn't work? That's also really poorly graded advertising because you won't get to do an another sale to the same customer that way.
Both phone and TV-sales advertising has been ongoing because even really sloppy advertising is something for the owners. It may have really turnaround rate but since the reach used to be wide it brought them some customers.
The same wide-scan shitty advertising appears in the internet as well. You'll see "10 things this" "10 things that" and other stupid dishonest clickbait titles. You probably used to see adverts too but you're banner blind by now, seeing so many of them in the wild and in the web.
For a long time I didn't have an idea that advertising requires very good skills. I didn't understand to pursue those skills. It's probably very same thing for lot of other people.
And that's probably because you see lots of adverts everywhere, and most prominent examples are really really bad. You literally got ray trace rendered cartoon bears showing thumbs up on side of synthetic raspberry flavoured beverage concentrate. Lot of adverts seem like they've been made by kids.
And larger challenges have been tried in advertising, more confirmation you get it's not very serious affair.
But actually if you intend to do sales, it's really hard. It's actually pretty fun skill to learn. There's the social aspect and you got to be really intelligent to do advertising well. I would believe lots of programmers would love to learn it if they knew what it is.
So what can you do once you can do some marketing yourself? Well you can actually sell your stuff without anyone's help. Or you can get people to use stuff you spent years to make. Also you can mix any skill you ever learn. Programming and marketing isn't a very unusual mix. That happens a lot these days.
Also marketing is just as much of a composite skill as what programming is. You need to do really good writing to do marketing yourself. And the guy I saw on the stage did his stuff so well that he must be a performing artist to do that.
Marketing also contains the skills to get people understand what you're doing and explain it to them in depth that they start to value you.
Also there's something really advanced stuff the earlier books I read about doing sales tackled. You can check out what people you like are doing, then design a product specifically for that audience and sell that product to them. I bet that's fun and takes lot of work. I yet have to study to pull that off.
At first my interest to marketing was purely monetary. I think it has ceased to be that for a long while ago.
Does you want a Google Analytics related blog post next week? I've been tinkering with this a bit and thought out ways to gather interesting things from the analytics data. If you like this idea write something email. I'll reply but otherwise won't subscribe you to any list or do anything else stupid like that.
Some while ago there was a guy who wanted to know about the lightning simulator I studied. I think this is slowly getting due because it could be something I could try in my programming language Lever.