How Spam may Impact Marketing (639 words)
A Target Marketing Q&A
Stephen Cobb is senior vice president of research at ePrivacy Group (www.eprivacygroup. com), consultants and purveyors of privacy-related solutions, including the Trusted Sender™ and SpamSquelcher™ tools. Cobb also is the author of "Privacy for Business: Web Sites & Email."
Target Marketing asked Cobb to share his thoughts on how the proliferation of unsolicited e-mails may impact legitimate marketers, and what they can do to help combat the spam problem.
Target Marketing: What do marketers need to know about the growing problem of spam?
Cobb: They may not know that the glory days of e-mail marketing could soon be over.
E-mail is in big trouble. No longer is spam something that bothers a few sensitive people; rather, it's now a corrosive force eating away consumer confidence in all forms of advertising and corporate communications.
TM: Do you really think e-mail is in that much trouble?
Cobb: We already know that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are cranking up their filters and raising the challenge/response barriers; but those may be the least of marketers' problems.
Spam has surged through the Internet infrastructure, eroding people's faith in what they see and read—both online and offline. Sound implausible? Imagine how you'd feel about network TV ads today if, for the last five years, they featured an overwhelming number of ads for scams and pornography. Or imagine if everyone knew at least one person who'd suffered fraud or identity theft because of a prime-time TV ad. That's where spam has taken e-mail, and it threatens to drag other forms of marketing down with it.
TM: What are you basing that on?
Cobb: This isn't just an opinion. A recent PlanetFeedback study found that the more spam and pop-up ads consumers encounter, the angrier they are about all forms of advertising.