The Death of the Database

My developer and I were banging skulls recently, discussing the goals for revamping one of our client’s online sports radio sites. He mentioned that in order for site users to get the premium info they wanted, we would need to ask for an e-mail and mobile number. He felt that that method was necessary in order to reach out to these folks in the future and create a metric for success.

I started thinking about the lack of necessity when it comes to gathering e-mail addresses and mobile numbers; rather than hinder any traffic, we should give them everything for free – the need to give out personal contact information simply doesn’t exist. What is important is giving access to people in the method they desire. It’s my belief that 10,000 e-mail addresses, accumulated in a company database, are less valuable than 2,500 RSS subscriptions, 2,500 e-mail subscriptions, 2,500 Facebook accesses and a captive audience. Why annoy your audience with interruption marketing when you can provide users with the info they want, when they want it and how they prefer it? Meaning, if they want to be notified of a Cubs win or the pregame lineup, give it to them in an RSS feed or post it to their Facebook account when they allow access – don’t inundate their inbox or their cell phone with messages that are reminiscent of SPAM.

The database is dead, but access to information is alive and thriving…

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