Latest Is Not the Greatest for Marketing

If you post a marketing video, you want the most possible people to view it, right?

So why make it so that only those who have the latest, up-to-the-minute versions of software installed can watch it? When you do that, you lose a lot of potential customers!

Unless your video is demonstrating the latest special effects game, software, or movie, and your audience is young, affluent geekboys, you don’t need the latest version of Flash, released 5 minutes ago.

Today I received an email with a link to a video touting an Internet marketing product. From past experience with the seller, this will be a talking-head video. It will not need special effects. Five-year-old technology would work just fine.

Yet here I am with a less-than-one-year-old state-of-the-art laptop, and I can’t watch it because I don’t have Flash 10.1.01.1.1.1….whatever. In case it’s not obvious, that’s bad marketing.

(Yes, yes, I stopped work, closed all 25 browser windows and some other stuff, and installed it, but most people can’t or won’t bother to do that.)

Most people are not running the latest version of anything. If they are using their computer at work, they can’t. Most corporations deliberately stay at least a year behind the latest—and sometimes more—they want to wait for the bugs to be swatted and the security patches to be available before they update their software. It saves support costs. 

Corporate IT departments also set up the computers so that users cannot install anything not provided by IT. That also saves greatly on support costs.

And most people at home do not have the latest and greatest. Many do not even have the latest operating system. Like the big corporations, they may feel “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Or, no matter how intelligent and well educated, they may not want to get into PC maintenance.  You would be surprised how many affluent people just buy a new computer every two or three years—just like the big corporations they work for or with—instead of installing new software all the time. Adults are often using hand-me-downs from their high-school or college-age kids!

So if you eliminate everyone (even executives) using corporate computers (including laptops), everyone who is too busy/lazy to update software all the time, and also those who are using older computers and possibly cannot run the latest version of, say, Flash, you have just eliminated a huge percentage of potential customers—whatever your product. 

Is that smart? I don’t think so.

There’s a reason they call it “the bleeding edge.” You’re bleeding profits.

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