Offline is Online
In iMedia Connection‘s leading e-newsletter story today, “5 New Ways Brands Can Go Beyond the Browser,” Max Zabramny of Organic writes about the new applications on the near horizon which will allow for work to be conducted offline after the a connection is terminated or is that is automatically executed once an online connection is re-established. We are familiar with this, but the twist is that now marketers are taking this and running with it, allowing their brand to interact with users to either recreate the online experience or something different in an offline environment.
Look out for Adobe Air, Google Gears, and Mozilla Firefox 3 to facilitate these tools with a branding spin on them, which may allow marketers to gather data in an offline fashion that is seamlessly transferred to them once the user is back online. But net-centric marketers beware; there may be a slippery slope with regards to spyware and adware. Back in the late 1990s, a company called Conducent flopped in a major way – they had agreements with desktop software developers that allowed the running of ads on the software while a user was offline. Additionally, their software was difficult to uninstall. The backlash from the online community was small, but intense. Conducent, trying to leverage the “irrational exuberance” of the time, and run by energetic but inept management, failed to understand a fundamental need of the end user – privacy and no distractions.
So almost ten years later, while The Marketing Consigliere agrees that the Marketing professional should gather as much rich data as possible, they should be careful and know just where the end users “draws the offline.” So make sure you’re intelligent before you try to mine business intelligence.