Marketers are one of the few businesses that sell products based on unfulfilled promises of success. Every business from micro to fortune 500 are inundated by newspapers, television stations, publications and all sorts of marketers offering expertise to get your business noticed. It has been going on for decades. Spend this amount of money and get x number of new clients. It is a promise based on dubious accounting of readership or viewership equating to 1-2% of new eyeballs for your product. The first thing asked of me when inquiring about business loans is how much have I budgeted for advertising. As a business owner I do not like to spend money on things I can’t correlate directly to increased revenues. Advertising is a crap shoot. You throw out a net in the hopes of attracting a new client.

I still believe that I have better odds at a Las Vegas table rather than in newspaper or television advertising. Yes, I understand the concept of branding via continuous in your face advertising, but the reality is that you spend hundreds of dollars in the hopes of getting the attention of 1-2% of the audience.

But, the fact remains that the marketing industry is billion-dollar industry and continuous to grow.

As the Internet came unto its own, I believed that the scam that was analog advertising – newspaper and television – would come to an end. Yes, the newspapers are hurting from bailing advertisers, but I believe that it has more to do with audiences going to the Internet for news than advertisers realizing it is a scam.

Internet advertising allows for more accountability in the advertising industry. Before the Internet, the peddlers of advertising would tell you that we have x number of readers and per industry standards you should get a 1-2% rise in interest in your business. You had to take their word for it or try to extrapolate new business as the likely source of your advertising dollars. Now, with the Internet you can track how many eyeballs saw your advertising and follow their movements towards your product. It is not 100% foolproof, but it is better than the analog way of advertising.

At least that is the idea. The failing newspaper industry seems to suggest this. Unfortunately, even now in 2017, we are still being inundated by the failed analog advertising model. The US postal service continues to offer crappy service because the advertising SPAM continues to fill your mailbox each day.

Last week I opened my business mailbox to find three glossy catalogs, all from the same company. The 20-page glossy was chock full of fancy pictures selling me…computers. Yup, computers!

Technology company Dell, who revolutionized the computer industry by leveraging technology to sell computers directly to the consumers without big-box stores, is using analog-based advertising to sell its computers.

In today’s world, who still looks at a paper catalog to buy a computer? A computer that in the blink of an eye changes.

Besides the fact that no one, in their right mind, would buy a computer from a paper catalog, Dell, in its infinite wisdom, proved for me what a crap shoot analog advertising is.

I received three catalogs all addressed to me at the same address.

As a technology company, I would have expected Dell to have a robust technology data system where customer information is not only captured but organized as to what my interests are and my likely purchase would be.

A modern customer resource management (CRM) database would not only have a history of all the computers and technology I have purchased from Dell over the years, but it should have a predictive model as to when I am likely to refresh my computers. Knowing when I might refresh my technology would give Dell a window of opportunity to bombard me with specials of technology that needs to be upgraded.

But no, Dell, instead relies on old-fashioned paper catalogs to send me, not one, not two, but three of the same catalogs that I promptly dumped in the trash can. Some might argue that Dell was trying to ensure that saw at least one of the catalogs. However, I believe that the three copies of the catalogs are result of an analog mentality that the technology company has lost itself in, in the last few years.

What is even more egregious is that Dell, in 2007, announced that it intended to becoming the “greenest technology company on Earth” by launching “zero-carbon” goals.

Ten years later, it appears that Dell was attempting to save the Earth by sending me over 60 sheets of glossy paper for me to promptly dump in the trash can.

The US postal service would have failed by now were it not for companies, like Dell, that still use analog advertising to sell their wares.

It is 2017, the advertising scams are still scamming businesses out of their money and companies, like Dell, are not only polluting the Earth but it appears that the technologies in Dell Technologies is doing things the old-fashioned way.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...