Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / February 4th, 2008

Attention Inc. Magazine: Digital is Not Always Better

I was very excited when I got my copy of Inc. Magazine in the mail this month.  The cover talked about a big section on marketing in the digital age.  Articles like that get people thinking about the services we offer.  So I was pumped.

Then I got to the page about making your site better…offer product recommendations like amazon.com does.  Great.  Build a widget?  A little trendy, but fine.  Then I say “create an avatar.”  First thing I thought of was the IBM commercial:

Boss:  Does your avatar make money? 
Employee: Real or virtual money?
Boss: Real money.
Employee: My avatar doesn’t know how to do that.

But no.  Inc was talking about putting a face on your site.  Making it personal.  Fantastic!  Surely they’re talking about things like our Web Video Host service.  Even if they didn’t specifically mention us, which I knew they wouldn’t since I wasn’t interviewed, they’d get people talking about Web video on their sites (and not the YouTube.com kind).  But again I was wrong.

Inc. was touting the features of sitepal.com.  You might not know them by name, but I’m sure you’ve seen the creepy digital talking heads on the corner of the screen that follow your mouse with their beady little eyes.  Look…people are scared enough to put their credit card into a Web site form without some android pressuring them.  That’s why your video should have a personal touch.  Sure, sitepal lets you upload your own voicetrack, but wouldn’t you rather see the person that’s talking?  That woman to the left will haunt my dreams.  OMG, she’s watching me type!

Who would you rather buy from, an anamatronic character right out of the “it’s a small world” ride at disney, or a representative from the company?  Just a little bit of research on the subject, and Inc. would’ve discovered that in this case, digital isn’t better. 

Read Inc’s article here, but don’t believe it.