The holidays have really had me thinking about technology lately. If you have read over the items I would like for Christmas most of them are undeniably techy in nature. The funny thing about technology is how a ton of it only exists to replace non technical items that are actually much simpler and arguably more efficient. I have also noticed that this same mentality is applied to marketing as well.
SEARCHING FOR NEW
In the search for new methods of reaching potential customers, clients want to use the newest technologies. With the normal limitations of time and budget some older proven methods are overlooked or forgotten. For example, direct mail has been taking a back seat over the past few years due to the lack of glamour associated with the medium. Let’s look at a recent discussion I had to further illustrate the point.
I was approached by a lawyer in a niche that is very well represented online. In order to gain more exposure this client wanted to advertise using adwords but only to a local market. Click rates in this client’s niche are very high, somewhere over 9 dollars per click. After sitting down with the client and reviewing all the marketing/ advertising tools they employed I found out that they were not doing any sort of direct mail. The solution becomes very simple for me, 50 cents per person for direct mail, or 10 dollars per click.
In fact, once you add to the equation that the majority of the target market for this client does not own or operate a computer; adwords appears to make almost no sense whatsoever.
TECHNOLOGY + NEW = BAD DECISION MAKING
We all know the feeling, that on you got when you first saw the iPhone, Wii, or that 52” LCD TV. What this all really boils down to is taking the time to make smart decisions about technology. Undoubtedly this is a hard thing to do. The allure of tech coupled with the idea of “new” has made fitting problems to a solution easier than fitting a solution to a problem (solutioneering).
This allure makes older proven methods of doing things immediately seem outdated, however often times it may be best to stick with what works. As designers/marketers we need to realize that just because a client may request a new technology, it does not necessarily make it the right solution. I may sound a little like an old man, but the situation above has taught me that often low tech is the right tech.