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Being bold, and your gran in a paddling pool
2010-06-16: Tony Blair famously said he regretted not being more bold .. he was talking about his policies, and I think that applies even more now to Internet marketing.
Time was, anyone could make sales online.
Now, if there are worthwhile sales to be made, there are systems to track them down and optimise the profits therein. The best ten companies to do that get on to Google's first page.
That's not to be underestimated. Industrial components procurement company Farnell, in Leeds, are advertising an online marketing position managing a team of four Internet marketing specialists and a budget of £1m for external suppliers. That's all Internet marketing, add to that the marketing and sales team and the people actually developing the website.
So how is a small company to battle against the machine?
Social media gives one way forward, but here's the problem with social media: the web is an attention economy. The only way you'll catch people's attention is if you do something stunning.
Which is where I started. Being bold. Being interesting, stunning, exciting, different, fabulous, uplifting, joyful, vibrant, engaging, cute, outrageous, new, fascinating.
Uploading a video of your gran falling into the paddling pool is OK, but it's a big waste of time really.
What you need to do is change your customers' lives in a compelling way, and do that in a way that makes them feel like you've not held anything back, you've really done everything you can.
I'm currently working on a competition to win a week's holiday for two in Scarborough.
So basically what we're saying is we'll give away a good chance of winning a holiday, for the sake of just taking your name and email address. Plus, we're going to make it worthwhile you passing that on. Basically, it's about the customer, not about Paragon. I'll let you know how it goes :-)

By John Allsopp
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