Despite what some people may think, I was not born yesterday. But lately I feel like I've been duped by intentionally deceptive marketing practices everywhere I turn. When legitimate companies deliberately use misleading marketing tactics to try and entice you to respond, I wonder who, exactly, thought this was a good idea?
Growth in Internet usage on the whole is slowing, technology investor and analyst Mary Meeker warned in her latest "Internet Trends" report, an annual exercise in looking at the state of the industry that she’s done since her days as an analyst at Morgan Stanley and has continued at Kleiner Perkins, the venture-capital firm where she's now a partner. While Meeker spent most of the report, which she published online and delivered at the Code Conference in Los Angeles Wednesday morning, looking at the Internet’s opportunities, the first line of the report should give people pause:
Apparently, some email service provider sales reps have been telling prospects they have people employed who have personal telephone hotlines to folks at the various major inbox providers. As a result, they claim, they can call on those contacts for favors if client deliverability troubles arise. ... If you’re a client who has bought into this nonsense, my name is Prince Samson Willington Omar of Lagos, Nigeria. I have 600 MILLION US DOLLARS tied up in a bank account here and I’m willing to share
No, I didn’t receive an email from Princess Zuckerberg asking me to save her family fortune from the hands of the rebel forces. This is not the typical Nigerian 419 scam. In this version, Facebook is unknowingly misleading its advertisers about its vaunted targeting abilities. If you buy ads targeting the U.S., it is now very likely that you are getting traffic from Nigeria and other parts of Africa, as well. These leads are unable to purchase your products or services because most merchant accounts and PayPal block these countries due to massive fraud claims. Facebook appears to be unaware
I never open “personal letters” from strangers in my Yahoo or AOL inbox. Too often, they’re the Nigeria scam or a pitch for Viagra. But the following subject line intrigued me: “Personal letter from the CEO of Titan Holdings (TTGL) as they anticipate …” I can’t recall ever receiving a personal letter from a CEO. My ego was stroked. Even though I’d never heard of Titan Holdings—and knowing it was most probably Spam—I clicked on it to see this “personal letter.” There was nothing personal about it. And therein lies the problem with e-mail and e-commerce. Remembering the Dot-com Boom In 1999, a serial