7 ways you're abusing your best customers

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Abusing those we love

Digital is amazing in part because of its ability to cultivate closer relationships with our best users. But it can also be an abusive instrument in the wrong hands. The power of digital tools can just as easily weaken consumer relationships when we put consumers second and our own antiquated ideas of push marketing first.

Often it seems that our best customers -- the ones who seek out closer relationships -- are the ones that suffer most. They see their permission and enthusiasm met with tactics that are at once ham fisted and disrespectful. It's only natural that faced with such bad behaviors, consumers learn not to trust those brands again. Here's my list of six common abuses that can only serve to drive more and more customers to want a divorce.

Slash-and-burn retargeting
About a month ago, I visited the website of my car company to get some information on a new model. Since then I have been barraged with multiple banners on virtually every web page I visit. I was on a reference site recently and got a 728, two towers, two big squares, and a button hawking the newest model -- on a single page.

I am not at all opposed to retargeting, but practitioners need to consider the user experience before they open all of the floodgates. Surely six units on a page is a scosh past the point of diminishing returns. Does my car company know this is happening? I suspect not. It's too ridiculous to approve -- which means it is important to ensure your vendors are just as anxious to provide a decent experience as they are to burn through your impression count. Most are, but more than a few aren't.



Ashley Edwards
Ashley Edwards November 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Good article, Jim. Don't necessarily agree with your perspective on the social piece, but I certainly understand where you're coming from.