Marketing Views

Marketing Views

since 1996 - from the creator of SPARC Product Directory
and in 2019 looking ahead to more on is for sale

news:- ACSL announces that having completed the sale of its flagship publication in December 2018, it is now offering its web property for sale too. ...more info
..... (1996 to 2019) - snapshots in the internet archive
  • July 1996 - It started as an ezine which talked about direct marketing - which in those days was mailing lists. Still an interesting read today is - 7 laws of direct marketing. (Yes it did mention the 3 fundamental laws of robotics too.)
  • September 1996 - The price of mailing lists, "Services Marketing" - book review, about the SunSoft Catalyst Program, and positioning the web version of the SPARC Product Directy (compared to the print publication) were among the topics.
  • February 2000 - Does web advertising work? Some quite distinguished experts have said "No, it doesn't." They include:- Philip Kotler... and Jakob Nielsen... I disagree with both of them, on this question, as you would naturally expect, because if I didn't, there would be no point in discussing web advertising any further, and this would be a very short article indeed.
  • February 2000 - Why are most Sun resellers invisible on the web? - is it because they think that web technology is something which is only good for their customers? Are they useless at marketing? or, Are they intimidated by competing with Sun's web site?
  • February 2002 - Press Release FAQs for electronic marketers:- how to write press releases, how to distribute them. You work in an IT company and need to distribute your latest press release about a mega deal, a wonderful new product, or record financial results... How much should it cost? And how quickly should it work? The resources here will give you great results for newsworthy stories. I've included free, nearly free and fee based services.
  • April 2002 - Why Being #1 on Search-Engines is the Start of Your Web Promotion, Not the End. Over the years I've talked to hundreds of IT marketers about web advertising. And I often discuss what other types of promotion they've tried...
Recommended web marketing articles.
  • How we really use the Web - is a sample chapter from a book that makes you rethink your home page. After reading it one night in February 2010 I got up at 3am and reworked the home page of
  • - is one of the few web marketing resources which has survived intact from 1995. Its theme is web page usability. My favorite article here is - Fighting Linkrot - which is just as relevant today as it was in 1998 when it first appeared.
  • Does Telling Someone to "Click Here" Work? - this article by Brian Clark, on his site may surprise you. I've been advising banner designers to add this text to their images since I started selling banner ads in 1998. This article discusses alt-text - which has pretty much the same goal.
  • Getting the Message - Email, Blogging, Linked-In etc. It seems that once a popular messaging channel becomes too clogged with extraneous messages, a new message channel emerges.
  • Stories That Sell (archived) - is a blog which discusses how you can leverage your current successes into new sales. My favorite article here is - Why Companies Need to F-R-E-E Their Case Studies. This is something I've been telling vendors for years - so it's good to see this issue discussed more widely. My policy as an editor is almost never to link to content which requires log-ins.
  • Search Engine Optimization - Google's own SEO article includes an amusing but serious warning. Apparently Google themselves receive spam emails offering to improve their search rank and saying - "you are not listed in major search engines and directories".
playing Google - the world's most popular online game
by Zsolt Kerekes - March 12, 2014

In 1998 Google launched a new version of a popular online computer game called SEO.

There had been many earlier versions of this game going back to 1995 created by other companies - but somehow those were less satisfying - because the rules were too easy - and even a relative novice could win the game without too much effort.

Google's version of the SEO game was better than its predecessors - because to stop SEO grand masters getting too bored too soon - Google decided that it would change the rules at random times and in random ways - to bring back the sense of surprise and fun which had been an essential constituent part of the early SEO game experience.

Fun, however, was only part of the story. Because the SEO game - which was given away free - competed with another new game from Google - in which players could get to a similar end point - but without using any skill whatsoever, and simply by paying a random amount of money.

So to encourage more players to switch to the revenue generating version of the game (which to avoid confusion wasn't called "pay SEO" but "Adwords") and to stop smugness setting in among seriously minded expert SEO gamesters - Google decided it should add an element of danger to the free version of the game.

The danger element worked like this.

SEO players who had been practising too much, or winning too often would be penalized by having their favorite web sites removed from the SEO game entirely - making them invisible to all other SEO players on the web - and not just invisible to the person who had been playing hardball.

To avoid the game getting too boring for Google itself - the company would periodically invent new hints and clues for players - some of which had little or no relationship to current versions of the game - and others of which were written in a secret code.

For many players - decoding the hints became as enjoyable a part of SEO life as playing the original game itself.

Expert decoders could make a business from telling other players how to game the system - without themselves havng to risk their own sites being made invisible.

Today - nearly 20 years after its first appearance on the commercial world wide web - SEO remains as popular as ever.

Although there is competition from social media (see who can collect the most virtual friends to win) - SEO remains a game which is so absorbing and addictive in itself - that most players forget the original reason they ever got started - and rarely do they question whether all that time spent on a silly online game is effort which is worthwhile compared to just communicating better to people rather than with the bots of the SEO games master.

Marketing Views was started in 1996 by

Zsolt Kerekes, editor of and

Janet Downes, founder of Downes Strategic Marketing

to help our enterprise customers better understand the newly emerging practicalities of online marketing.

There are now plenty of good marketing sites - so the original need for has (mostly) gone away.
. FAQs for connected IT marketers
"what is becoming increasingly clear is the need to own your owned media to succeed online today..."
Cleve Gibbon, CTO - Cognifide in his blog Own your owned media (Nov 2017).

Editor:- February 8, 2019 - I only recently saw Cleve Gibbon's blog site - - for the first time after selling my own flagship publication... and realized Cleve Gibbon's site was one of just a handful of the richest and most thoughtful sites about dotcom marketing that I had seen in over 20 years.

In another of his blogs I like - the Rise of Enterprise Experience - Cleve Gibbon says "We all use Airbnb, Spotify, Apple, Google, Uber, and so on. These companies differentiate themselves on the consumer experience. However, when I get to work, Im expected to forget what good looks like and embrace substandard enterprise tools. To be become less productive."

capturing and converting high value technical customers when there aren't many of them in the whole world and you don't know who they are
In May 2018 - an EDA company called OneSpin (which sells semiconductor chip design and verfication tools) published a case study which showed the success of using social media instead of conventional digital ads and trade shows to educate, convert and capture new customers.

The case study - Digital Marketing in EDA...with No Hands on the Wheel - tells how scattering a video to the winds got amazing results.

"...Of course, not everyone who watched the video was a chip designer. But when videos start to be shared, the sharing can come back in. Someone shares the video with their friends, and some of their friend's friends are designers."

"This will change your life if you are into marketing, and have a little skill." the article

"Thanks to content marketing, your audience no longer relies on a single event - your customer conference - for their ongoing technology education."
Kari Seas founder Seas Marketing in her blog - Is Content Marketing Killing Your Customer Conference? (March 15, 2017)

"Optimize your website for the web It's SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not GO (Google Optimization)."
Ryan Stewart, Webris in his blog - Why I stopped selling SEO services and You should too

"For those of us that work in technology and healthtech, it's not uncommon to run into bloggers that are passionate enough to write lengthy posts."
Don Jennings, Sr VP, Lois Paul & Partners in his blog Why Bother Blogging?,

Your website sucks because you try to get to home base on the first date
and another 21 reasons why your website sucks

How do you get the message across to someone you meet online for the first time?
is anyone really listening any more?


"Many companies waste 2, 3 or even 5 years before they realize they will need to invest more..."
Jaime Coreano - 5 reasons Asian electronics manufacturers struggle in North America

The Brain of a Sales Droid
a Visual Guide
click to see article on cranky pm web site
Cranky Product Manager

"Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500600 times."
Google algorithm change milestones - 2000 to 2014

Many of these missing market segments don't even have names.

Hey - that means SSD-world is like a map of the US before Lewis and Clark.
Decloaking hidden segments in the
enterprise flash array market

The most common issues arise when we try to compare results from two or more different analytical sources.
calibration issues with web referral statistics

Like ghostwriters - their identities remain largely unknown - even when their works are widely read.
PR Agencies - the list on

A potential customer can buy products like yours from thousands of different companies.

Whatever motivates them to look on the web for information about products or suppliers is not important. It's the fact they're looking.

That's your opportunity to make it easier and quicker for them to become aware of you and what you do...
Think of Web Ads as Signposts - March 2003