Social Responsibility in the Age of Click Culture

How much of the internet is our responsibility to keep clean of garbage? In a new book published this month called Disrupted, journalist Dan Lyons relates his story of working at a tech startup, along with telling how he employed and witnessed many of the marketing techniques that we’ve discussed on this blog – email marketing, working the social media channel, SEO, etc. all in the name of lead generation, which is another way of describing getting prospective customers to click on your call to action. From the way he tells it, it’s not a pretty sight, and he has found allies in this particular cause. While his supporters acknowledge that as a business model, online marketing is a solid marketing replacement for media advertisement campaigns, they believe it pollutes the screens of users and generally makes the Internet a worse-off place overall. Since we here at Sun Sign Designs have been touting many of these techniques, we feel that it’s worthwhile to dig into the gist of Lyons’ argument in order to speak to his complaints and enhance everyone’s efforts in this space.

The main charge of this critique is that all of these techniques are being done in the name of lead generation. This is a bit of a paper tiger argument, because if you’re in business, new customers and sales are essential to your revenue stream no matter what your platform. There is just no way around the fact that there will be cases where your marketing efforts aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. We do agree, however, that your content and technique management should be tastefully done. If you automate your processes to the point where your prospects are getting the equivalent of spam every week, then you should take a look at what you’re actually offering in this space.

Every business effort is going to have its own equivalent of the sleazy used car salesman, the one who sees dollar signs as soon as you step within 10 ft of his territory. Our techniques are tried and tested, and when ethically employed, they work and will bring new customers to your website. It’s up to you as a business to know where to draw the line and not abuse the effectiveness of the techniques to the point where your customers are fed up with your overuse of the internet.  Restraint is a valuable quality in a medium where one is able to deliver nearly unlimited content at the touch of a button.

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