Seth Godin’s post yesterday, which many people have characterized as promoting clickfraud, created a firestorm of controversy all over the web.
Seth’s response to the uproar was to post an explanation of his thinking, which to me actually made the problem worse.
I’m sure his inbox was flooded, and a few well-written comments to both of his posts generated the following apology from Seth:
[Updated: Upending a finely tuned machine: It’s pretty clear that this post and the one before were seen by practitioners of click advertising as just plain stupid. If you read them the way they read them, that interpretation is entirely possible, and I apologize. My intent was to point out that we’re creating a culture of surfers who just don’t click on ads, which has far-reaching effects for our medium. For those that saw some other intent, I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better next time.]
Frankly, what he wrote above makes sense. If we do have a culture of people who never click on ads, the online economy stops.
But that’s not going to happen.
Our job as business people is to find out what our own crowd is starving for, and then feed that to them (ref: Halbert).
Our job as marketers — of whatever kind of product or service — is to make our case well so that our customers recognize that what we have is what they want (good copy), and then to remove obstacles that might prevent them from taking action (good landing page design).
Those marketers who do not optimize their landing pages, learn good copy, and truly understand their customers will not be successful. And although that’s sad, it’s just the way things work (ref: Darwin).
It takes guts for someone as well known as Seth Godin to admit an error — whether that is an error in his logic, or just a mistake in how he communicated his point — and I respect him more for saying so.
Kudos to Seth…who also posted a comment on my prior post.
Got thoughts on Seth? On his apology? On online Darwinism? Post your comments below.
To Your Success,