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Letting It All Hang Out & Other Random Meanderings On The Business Of Doing Business

January 6 2000 at 5:49 PM

Response to Welcome To The New Millennium...

Funny when you think about it...

Veterans Of The Front Lines...

Things used to be so simple.

It takes years to feel like a marketing veteran offline. Before the Web was a twinkle in Berners-Lee's eye, most of us were doing some sort of direct marketing. Mail order, infomercials... yep, even telemarketing. Anything to sell our products.

Back then, there was breathing space. You could take a deep breath every once in a while and catch up with yourself. You could gauge your competition by picking up the latest "Popular Mechanics" and taking a gander at the classies.

Today? Humph! Things are different. MUCH different. I've been on the 'Net since early '97 and I'm feeling like one of the old timers. Things are changing quickly.

I can remember when banner ads were actually cool. (For you younger marketing animals, banner ads were these grotesque, annoying, graphical ads that blinked, flashed, and dazzled you in hopes of distracting you enough that your thumb slipped on your keyboard and actually clicked on the things.)

Uh, Excuse Me... Could You Please Pass The Porn?

Hey Fred! Come look at this!

Yep. The porn guys are still around. Disgusting, irreverent, in-your-face... they're all the things your mother told you to stay away from. They're the ones who got caught smoking in elementary school. The ones you always saw in the principal's office.

Dismiss them if you'd like. But, ya gotta give it to 'em. They know how to sell. Offline, they could hawk magazines, videos and others "memorabilia" like they were giving umbrellas away on a rainy day.

And online? Do I even need to mention it? They're the ones that are sending the spam, skirting the laws and giving moms and dads heart attacks when they surprise Little Johnny with an impromptu visit.

Yeah, they're nasty. They're bad. They use things like animated gifs, flashing banners and self-propagating browser windows. All the stuff we hate. All the stuff we scoff at.

Guess what...

A lot of those guys are making money. Kinda makes you stop and think, don't it?

An Ugly Mass Of Marketing Cells

If he can do it, I can do it.

Trying to keep up with it all can drive you batty.
With Tony Blake, Bill Myers, Marty Foley, Ken and others spreading the gospel of online marketing and product development, you can bet that thousands have saluted and marched on to hawk their products.

Offline, it was easier to be a "player." It took a bit of cash to place a classie. It took a wad of the green stuff to launch a direct mail campaign. And infomercials? Forget it. Way outta my budget. The high costs of marketing were depressing. But it kept others from joining the fray.

But online... that's another story. The barriers to entry have come crashing down. You don't need hundreds of dollars to get started. Hell, you barely even need TENS of dollars. As a result, everybody's selling something. Books, CDs, video games, pictures of Ricky Martin naked... you name it, they're selling it.

Kinda scary.

Hey Kid, Do You Live Here?

Take some time out.

You know what I'm talking about... Get off your duff. Say hi to your wife. Ask your kids how band practice was. Tell you daughter that she can't go out with that football player from school.

Give your marketing a break.

Pace yourself. The 'Net isn't going to go away. If you don't post to five discussion boards before you go to bed, it'll be OK. Your wife will forgive you.

Ever seen a guy burned out from his work? Sad, isn't it? Milling about, restless, feeling guilty and worthless...

Ever seen a guy burned out from marketing online? Scary, huh? Drooling, looking dazed, a weeks' facial growth, hair (what's left of it) standing on end, a strange odor permeating the air around him...

Like I said, take a break and pace yourself. Drool is extremely unbecoming.

You Mean, Go OUTside The House?!

Make some friends.

Yeah, the offline kind. Go to the movies. Have some drinks with your buddies. Go out on a date if you're not married. And DON'T discuss the 'Net.

Especially on the date.

You're Caffeinated, Fired Up & Ready To Market!

Doing all of these things to wind down is valuable. REALLY valuable. It'll give you that extra boost you need to make the most of your time. You'll be refreshed. Revitalized. PASSIONATE!

A little R & R goes a long ways, folks. It lets you live a little better. It gets rid of the perpetual scowl on your otherwise pleasant face. It keeps you from kicking the dog.

This year, focus your attention on tempering your marketing efforts with some relaxation. You'll be amazed at what you'll accomplish.

Thanks for reading this little diatribe. I had a load 'o fun writing it.

Rest, relief and respite...

Damon G. Zahariades

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