We've all done it: bought something that's of absolutely no use just because it caught our eye. The problem is when we make business purchasing decisions based on glitter or glitz. Is it just me or are more people falling victim to this lately? A couple of examples.....
We were trying to get a proposal out to a prospect working in tandem with a print graphics company that was doing the prospect's print material. It was a rough process at best. Then the print company saw a pitch from a web metrics company that did really slick A/B web testing and promised the prospect that we'd do that for them. The only problem is that the A/B web testing only worked on old static HTML sites, not modern content-managed sites like those powered by Joomla. They had to go back hat-in-hand to the prospect and eat their words.
Another company saw a really fancy 1-to-1 email marketing tool and decided to jump on board. The problem then arose that the tool didn't work with their existing mass email tool, their website or their customer information system. Oops.
Another client wanted to put up really slick animation from a 3rd party on their website. Again, did it properly integrate into their existing framework? What problem was it supposed to be fixing? Nobody asked.
What's the lesson to be learned from these tales of woe? Before you buy into technology, have a clear business case of 'what problem are we trying to solve?' or 'what numbers are we not happy with on our website, and how will this new technology fix it?' or 'what quantifiable problem (as determined by customer interviews, surveys, etc) are our customers having, and how does this technology help our customers?'
What all these supposed solutions have in common is they're long on glitz and slick interface and short on quantifiable problem-solving.