OK this is only fun if you comment :)

So even if I don’t put it at the end of every post, please comment and let me know what you think. I think debate on this issue is healthy, and I want to know where you weigh in on the issues of social media marketing and direct sales.

So what do you think? Do you have topics you want to learn about? Burning questions? Strong opinions? Let me know!

One Response to OK this is only fun if you comment :)
  1. Mark Bosworth
    January 17, 2009 | 8:12 am

    You’re right, it’s only fun if there are comments. So I’ll continue my thoughts on direct selling and the web. I know that social sites are both popular and powerful. My interest is how the move to electronic interaction will impact the economics of the direct selling business.

    To illustrate my point, I’ll relate a story from the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly regarding the New York Times (Yes, I get the printed version) http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/new-york-times

    The New York times had 20 million unique visitors to its web site in October, making it the fifth ranked news site on the internet. They have been amazingly successful in generating web readers and web hits. So successful that the article was about the chances that the Times would go out of business. Their print circulation has been falling and their advertiser base has been falling even faster. They have just not figured out how to get enough revenue from web readers to support all the work it takes to generate news articles. So the web is changing the fundamental economics of the newspaper business.

    I think the web will change the fundamental economics of the direct selling business, I just don’t know how. To Jennifer’s point, I think that in the future there will be a much larger number of sellers and a much smaller amount of sales per person.

    As a last point, I can’t help but comment on what I see as the most effective techniques for selling on the web. If you do any business with web merchants, you know that you can expect a blizzard of emails from them. They seem to deal with the low response rate on the web by boosting the number of communications they send out. Spam is a great example that a high quantity of emails can overcome a microscopic response rate.

    My hope is that as direct sellers we can overcome the low electronic response rates with electronic relationships and convenience. My fear is that direct sellers on the social sites will become as relentless as spammers because that’s the technique that works. 🙂

    Any thoughts on how to control annoying direct selling behavior on the web other than just to ignore it? (You’ll pardon me for using “control” and “web” in the same sentence)

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