Why Web 3.0 Marketing Isn’t the Silver Bullet


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Almost every week I see some sort of marketing splurge about how cold calling is dead and how “web 2.0 or even 3.0” is the way to go. The latest and the reason for this article was the headline “Increase Cold Calling Success by 6-8 Hundred Percent” It’s message was by using Web 3.0 (can’t wait for Web 4.0) and social media best practises any salesman can increase their success by 6-8 Hundred Percent. At this point a stream of abuse and derision was about to leave my lips. However, I paused mainly in respect of those of a tender age and a delicate disposition, but realised that the writer had simply missed the point and was looking at the problem the wrong way, that is from the sellers perspective not the buyers.

I have recently been involved in selling a service to CEO, FD’s and Company Secretaries of the top 1000 businesses in the UK. What is abundantly clear is that using Web anything and social media as a way of contacting my suspects, is as likely to succeed in delivering orders as running backwards up Everest is likely to get you to the summit without falling off. The reason, simple, most senior executives of organisations of that size don’t use or need social media and many are surprisingly unskilled in the use of the internet. This is not only a function of their age but also the fact that they have been successful in establishing their own network using traditional face to face techniques. To them online techniques are irrelevant.

So what did work? Well cold calling, once we had made contact we could explain how our service was of benefit. We were able to generate a steady stream of meetings and sales. Why was that? After all according to many pundits call calling is interrupt driven and doesn’t develop the buyer seller relationship. All of this may be true but for our market it (cold calling) was a communications method they understood and could relate too, consequently it was effective.

My point is that the mix of marketing and sales processes required to be successful changes in every situation. Your marketing mix must reflect the expectations of your targets. Whilst useful, web 3.0 or any other sub-variant of marketing is not a panacea. The hype that social networking changes everything is just plain wrong, it doesn’t replace common sense and it isn’t a Silver Bullet, its just another arrow in the thoughtful marketers armoury.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laurence Ainsworth
Laurence Ainsworth founded Exigent Consulting in 2002 and since then has performed a number of successful turnaround more recently he has worked with businesses to utilise Social Marketing to drive sales performance, customer loyalty and brand recognition. He is skilled at working with, and getting the most from, owner managers.


  1. Is the phone call the new handwritten letter? I think you are right, at the CEO level, maybe a call AND a handwritten letter will work together to increase the odds.

    Great advice–thanks.


  2. Hi Alyson,

    Thanks for the comment, and yes how insightful of you, we are just about to introduce handwritten letters into our campaign as we consider this to be and excellent tool for this level of contact.

    kind regards


  3. I agree with you re social media. Also, I like the approach of including the handwritten note. What are your thoughts on the text content of a follow-up handwritten note to a C Suite Prospect after the initial cold call?

  4. In all our communications with our C level prospects we tried to identify something which would serve the recipients personal interest. In our case it was easy because it doesn’t matter who your are you are always interested in finding out how your are paid compared to your perceived peers & competitors.

    More generically we realised that it (the letter) had to be couched in personal terms since even after the first approach our communication was still going to have to penetrate several layers of filtering that surround these execs. We felt that a “personal” type letter would get through because gatekeepers would be wary of interfering in the Execs personal decisions as opposed to simple business related decisions.


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