Automated Marketing – Soon


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Up early, feeling refreshed.
Morning run, feeling self-righteous.
Play with the puppies over breakfast, feeling cheerful.
Into work early – more self-righteousness.

Quick check of a handful of Tweeters I follow and
it starts to dawn on me:

It may be Tuesday, but the Universe has decided
it’s going to be another Monday.

First up: Eric Peterson follows up with his “social media is like coffee” conversation with Tim O’Reilly and Charlene Li:


Click and:

db error

OK – we classify this under Sh#t Happens and figure Eric will report when he’s done cursing the gods of WordPress.

On to Avinash Kaushik’s #rant:


I read his post with sympathy and the comments with a knowing nod and feel compelled to post a link to the Internet Explorer vs. Murder Rate data visualization joke with some witty comment about how maybe in this case, there is causation and Google Maps should post the locations of people trying to install Win 7 SP1 so we can avoid those areas.

But I can’t.

The short version is that I have recently moved my email hosting to Google’s Gmail and there’s this awkward week of transferring data between conflicting accounts that means I cannot log into Google Plus until further notice. (grumble, grumble, grumble)

So – machines and humans are not going to get along today.


But then, I come across something that compels me to post.

Yes, that’s right, all of the above was just preamble. Now we get to the heart of the thing.

It starts with this tweet:


As with the above, this is a convergence of people I respect. I’ve known Matthias for years and seriously admire his enthusiasm and deep understanding of the practical side of analytics. He understands the technology and the politics. Matthias is now working at Semphonic which is Gary Angel’s firm and has always been top notch. I have also known Celebrus for donkey’s years, back when they were Speed-Trap with some seriously interesting technology.

I got Malcolm Duckett to bring me up to speed once the Celebrus logo was flying high and I was duly impressed. This was analytics taken to its logical extreme, empowering the automation of marketing. Nicely done.

But that was more than a year ago and lots can change in a year. So if Semphonic has undertaken the effort to explain what Celebrus is up to these days, I want to know.

And this is where my tale of woe hits the bubble-over point.

I click on the link in the tweet
I arrive at the landing page
I read
I scratch my head
I read more
I wince
I read again
I cry.
I post.


Let us not take this from the top of the page, but from the top-of-mind.

“When Web Analytics Marries Database Marketing” Joint White Paper with Semphonic Inc

OK – I’m on the right page. Good.

I am ready to download…. but first, I need to give them my email, name, company and country. Fine Fair trade. I’m used to it.

But wait…..

The eye is drawn to those immortal words in the middle of the second paragraph: “click here”.

Click here to what? Now it’s my job to scan the text on either side to figure out why I should click.

firstly please click here to go to the collection management page

Hmmmmm…. I don’t really understand. Shouldn’t I just fill out the form and be done with it? OK, OK, Let me read the whole sentence and see if it makes more sense.

If you are not opted-in and want to download a white paper, firstly please click here to go to the collection management page and opt in.

Uhm… won’t I “be opted in” if I just fill out the little form on the right?

OK… let’s go for the whole paragraph, shall we?

We ask that you please register with us in order to receive our white papers.

Fair enough – that’s what the little form is for, yes?

Please complete and submit the contact form on the right of this page.

Right – just as I thought.

You will then receive an email to the address given containing a link leading you to the page where you can download the document.

That’s all pretty standard and why are you wasting my time with the obvious?

If you are opted-in and do not clear your cookies you will only need to do this once as the Celebrus software will remember you when you return.

If I am opted in but do not clear my cookies? Yes! Of course!
That’s how cookies work. Great, you will remember me. Terrific.

If you are not opted-in and want to download a white paper, firstly please click here to go to the collection management page and opt in.

And how am I to know whether I am opted in or not?

Once you have opted in you can register on this page and then access the whitepaper. Thank you and happy reading!

So the little form on the right is a ruse. You need me to go to a different landing page and then come back here and then fill out the little form?


This is not going to end well. I can tell already that I am facing the opening to a rabbit hole from which I may never find my way back to the white paper.

But wait… for reasons unknown…. my eye is drawn to the very top of the page. Up there one is all but commanded to ignore. First, it’s waaay up top, above the company logo. Next, it’s in a colored box. That means it’s a header with no information. Probably just there for SEO purposes. Next. the colors are black text on a dark gray background. These are the primary do-not-read-me choices. Lastly, it’s labeled:

Cookies and Privacy

Nothing to see here… move along.

You are currently opted in.

I am… wait… What?
I am?

We are optimising this site for you based on your behaviour in the site and we will use data we collect to communicate with you as part of this process when this is appropriate.

My mind is whirling. My temples are pounding.
And then I read the very least important thing on the page.

I read the paragraph just under the big title and the paragraph with the “click here” imperative in it. I’m referring to the paragraph that is displayed in light gray text on a white background. The most ignore-me-please combination possible:

This joint white paper between Semphonic Inc. and Celebrus Technologies looks at: the morphing of web analytics into digital analytics; the importance of individual data in database marketing; the reasons for these two disciplines to marry; the value that organisations are already achieving with this new approach.

So this is a white paper about how you can use cookies to remember people in order to improve the customer experience and you’ve put me through this?

And then my head explodes.

[Later, after reassembly and mopping up]

If I am reading this right, I need merely fill out the little form on the right.

As I would have done, had I not been flummoxed by text that the database should have known not to show me.

Let’s try that… and hit Submit and… my data disappears … but I am reassured by:


Check In Box.

Tick…. tick…. tick….

Check In Box.

Tick…. tick…. tick….

Check In Box.

Tick…. tick…. tick….

While I’m waiting, I see an email from Jeff Zwelling, CEO of Convertro. I click on the link and hit this landing page:


I fill out the form and get this:


I Alt-Tab over to my In Box and see this:

Thank you for requesting our white paper ‘advantages of
customer path attribution’

You can download this from our website using the link below:

Many Thanks,

And now, I have something to read while I wait for an email from Celebrus.

And, in the meantime, Eric Peterson’s post about social media as coffee has appeared.

More good reading.

Maybe it’ll become Tuesday after lunch…

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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