8 October 2021
It’s easy to take the complexities of the Internet for granted; right up to the point when something breaks. While Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram went down for six hours earlier this week, the world did indeed keep turning, but if a couple of days had passed, we’d probably have to start adapting fast.
Along with other digital routes to market, social channels are quick and easy to use, and free for the most part. But there’s a trade-off. While you busy yourself increasing your audience share, probably across multiple channels, you’re not really creating a connection that is as solid as it could be.
Firstly, you are effectively just creating a market stall in a very busy marketplace. There you are side-by-side with your competitors and other people vying for your attention.
Secondly, you’re just leasing the connection. The gatekeeper in-between is the real beneficiary.
And these gatekeepers learn faster than you could imagine. They analyse your habits, the habits of your audience, and work out how to convert that into more profit; for them.
We know this. We hear stories about the power of data, and we want a piece of the action. We try it ourselves, setting up MailChimp and Hubspot accounts and start entering data (very often badly). We sometimes collect data ethically; we sometimes buy it, steal it, and rinse it not so ethically.
But we don’t necessarily understand why.
The reason the Internet Behemoths thrive is two-fold. Firstly, they have suckered us into letting them into our lives and feeding their data farms. They ask for more, so we give it to them. Our marketing audiences become their audiences. Our activities are theirs.
More importantly, they’ve worked out what to do with the data to monetise it significantly (ethics aside).
So, if your business could be making better use of data, start again. Work out the why and the how before you even think about filling in forms or setting up diluted marketing automation. Less is very much often more, as it quality over quantity.
And, for your own protection, make sure you manage and control your data on your terms, preferably in an ethical way.