Technology lets you hide as well as seek.
Interesting how your status as a vendor or as a prospective customer changes your attitude toward Web marketing. If you’re selling something, you want people to find you. You want your marketing to be “in-bound”, in today’s parlance, as opposed to doing things the old “out-bound” way. When we snap into customer mode, however, being found is what we do not want. We want to covertly snoop around. We want to sniff the offerings undetected by eager-beaver sales types.
In the B2B world, however, buyers must come up for air once in a while to see what’s out there. We need to stay aware of who’s offering what, at what price, and on what terms. When we make a determination as to which vendors we want to approach, we’ll do it our way. Smart vendors are coping with this new reality. Rather than hammering prospects with cold-calls and email, they are engaging with them in way more akin to the word-of-mouth processes that held sway generations ago. Ironic how 21st century Web technology, a.k.a. social technology, has brought us full circle to a time when merchants relied on small groups of people to spread a good word socially. Doesn’t mean cold calls and spam will suddenly disappear. They’ll just become less prevalent as marketing and sales departments get smarter about using the Web and wise up to what’s working. And what isn’t.