Rich Schefren’s Attention Age Doctrine – I don’t agree…

I wondered if there were other people out there that weren’t agreeing with Rich’s new reports, but I hadn’t come across anyone actually saying so.

While I was pondering how to start my thoughts on all this, I came across Sant Qiu’s blog and a post that pretty much sums it all up. There are so many marketers out there saying one thing and doing another at the moment, that I’m beginning to lose some respect for them, despite what their track record may have been.

I know as well as anyone that it can be difficult to become an authority in a particular niche, but I think Rich might have picked the wrong one here.

Here’s what I think, shoot me down if you like but until I hear, read or see definitive proof that I’m wrong, you’re not going to change my mind.

After over 100 years of direct marketing having a proven track record, and then being used in the new medium of the internet, it IS NOT going to be replaced by web 2.0 style marketing. The technologies may change, and there may be new mediums arise, but direct marketing is here to stay.

And I’ll say it now, clear for all to read…

Web 2.0 is a fad.

In 6 months or 2 years, or whenever, it will be replaced by web 3.0, or web extreme, or web dynamite, or whatever new term is thought up to describe the subtle changes that have arrived and become apparent.

I did think it rather funny (and ironic) that Rich was using direct marketing techniques to spread the word about his new reports, and then used double opt-in email gathering techniques!

Q. If web 2.0 is so good, why he didn’t he use those methods exclusively instead?

A. Because if he did, I wouldn’t have read his report, and probably neither would you.

Even while reading the report, I felt like I was reading a direct sales piece, just a very large sales letter. And there are whole chunks of it that just fly in the face of both logic and my own experience.

Example: page 25 – the whole of web 2.0 is on the winner’s side (good old right) and TV, radio and magazines are on the loser’s side (bad old lefty). That makes no sense. As I look at the habits of family and friends, they spend more time watching TV than they do on the internet – I’m an exception.

And the first thing they do when they get in the car is put the radio on – again I’m an exception.

Finally, I’ll just quickly mention the number of magazines shared between my wife and mother in law is scary! The paper recycling box is HEAVY when I put it out each week. People still like to read using traditional materials, and I don’t see that changing.

Then he moves into a comparison between sales and marketing, and how the sales guy is horrible, but describes the sales pitch as marketing. He then describes how now well known marketing techniques as becoming the authority in your niche can be used to make lifetime sales.

This is nothing new.

I could go on, there are other examples but I think you get the point. As a whole, it just doesn’t feel right in my gut.

Like Sant Qiu, I’m a fan of Rich – he’s done some good stuff. I’m not sure the Attention Age Doctrine is going to go down as his best though. A lot of it is just wishful thinking and for me at least is unconvincing.

Go take a look Sant Qiu’s post and see what he has to say.

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  1. not exactly…

    i didn’t say all direct response was dead – i said deceptive, interruptive marketing was. look at what i wrote about marketing 2.0 – Product launches…Viral Marketing….etc…

    I’ve used those to build my business.

    you know what i didn’t use… SEO, PPC, etc….

  2. Frank Haywood says:

    Yeah, I get it Rich, I understand.

    I was chatting on Skype the other night with a couple of guys we both know, and I said then that I hadn’t read the second doctrine as I’d been a bit… busy… but I made the time afterwards.

    In that chat I said then that the first one hadn’t lit me up like your manifesto trilogy had. Neither of them agreed with me, but neither of them shot me down either, and one of these guys has on a couple of occasions when he disagreed with what I was saying.

    Reading the second doctrine hasn’t changed my impression, and the issue for me now is because I’m questioning SOME of what you’ve said, I’m beginning to question other bits that I DO agree with.

    (Probably a good thing anyway.)

    I’m very open minded and I can always be convinced otherwise if the proof is there.

    I just think it could have been a more balanced piece is all.



  3. I see that you have Rich Schefren himself on here defending the Attention Age Doctrine so you don’t really need me but here’s my two pennies worth anyway.

    I certainly agree about the Attention problem. the more many people shout, the less we all hear. I was in an Italian restaurant like that a few weeks ago.

    Marketing is often seen as cynical and that’s why personal recommendation has always been and always will be such a powerhouse. With social networking, the range of people you know can grow exponentially along the six degrees of separation type thinking.

    On TV etc the proliferation of channels is certainly having an effect. Here in the UK the top programmes used to pull in 15 to 20 million viewers every episode. Now it is only the number 1 soap that even gets ten million.

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