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How web saavy is your customer base?

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As well as you think you know 'em - think again, while I share with you this insightful tale.

I have a friend who is a veteran IT professional. She's worked in network security and software development for publicly traded pharmaceutical companies, a major university and one of the most well known medical sites on the Internet. She lives online with a cell phone glued to her ear at all times.

She is a shameless geek.

The other day I got one of those emails from her. This one explaining that AOL and Microsoft are about to merge and for some reason Microsoft is subsequently beta testing a new email forwarding program. For those that participate, hundreds of dollars per successful forwarded email will add up to one really big check coming in the mail from Uncle Bill (Gates, that is).

My friend fell for it, forwarding it to me and her entire address book, including my 67 year old mother.

Dear old Mom emailed her back, cc'ing everyone else on the list, pointing out the obvious: it's bogus and what's more, you can read all about it on snopes.com.

There's a walkaway lesson in here somewhere. The IT pro fell for the email. The 67 year old retiree in Florida who thinks Blue tooth is a dental issue, not only saw through the whole thing - she knew about Snopes, the online resource for urban myths of all types.

Marketing types love to pigeon hole people and group them into demographics. Beware! Beware! Beware!

Last updated: May 11, 2007




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