How measurable advertising makes us all the same

Seth Godin has a great post on how newer forms of direct marketing may be leading us toward a type of sameness.

I understand where he’s coming from. With instant feedback possible now with online sales, you can just about immediately see which product’s selling better than others, after which you exert influence on working up the sales of the superior product, while ignoring the inferior ones.

There is a problem though. What if it was just by random chance that the product deemed superior just happend to sell really well for a short time? With instant feedback possible, what happens is that there is no gestation period for other products to catch up — products that don’t perform well initially are dropped, while those that do remain (and pushed to ever greater heights).

Even if you knew that the better product wasn’t selling as well as it should, these days with instant measurements come expectations of instant results, and it’s going to be the products with instant mass appeal that will survive.

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