The definition of Insanity

I’m always intrigued by the dynamics of technology-driven marketing. On the high end, firms are now using incredibly complex analytics hoping for insight into customer intentions. I recently read about retail giant Wal-Mart developing algorithms that could tie weather patterns to online buying behavior, and send targeted email promotions based on local weather patterns.

On the other hand, there’s downright stupid marketing.

One of my favorites is from a marquee business news organization, that sends a daily email with technology news. Every day, day in and day out, there’s an inline advertisement after the first paragraph. It is surrounded by a pleasant blue border, and after about the emails from these guys, my eyes are trained to skip right over it.

Similarly, I play the occasional game of solitaire on my iPhone. The game subjects you to an add before each and every round, and happily puts the “Skip” button in one of two places each time. Rather than looking at the content of the ad, I spend 3 seconds hunting for the skip button.

The famed definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. I wonder what the above two advertisers are expecting after a solid year of doing the exact same thing.