Retro Information Acquisition

Encyclopedia Britannica AdHere's a puzzling term: retro information acquisition. RIA. Got any idea what that means? It means "looking something up in a printed encyclopedia." I know because I just made it up. It's "retro" because that's one way we used to acquire geographical, historical and biographical facts. With an encyclopedia you could even find a printed copy of the periodic table of the elements or standards of measurement. Big swaths of collective human knowledge were to be found in those heavy, bound tomes. Knowledge used to be weighty.

Not so much anymore. Now knowledge is as light as an electron. In fact, it's not even knowledge any more. It's data.

Now, I love data as much as the next guy, especially when it's in a form that makes my life easier and satisfies my craving for instant gratification. Like when I'm trying to remember what other movie Meryl Streep won the Academy Award for besides Sophie's Choice. Google will tell you in a nonce. But I won't. You can look it up.

But back to marketing, since this blog, after all, is a blog about marketing. What does "retro information acquisition" have to do with marketing? Well, just as looking something up about Meryl Streep doesn't make you an expert on the movies, slapping a website up on the internet doesn't make you a marketing genius. Marketing is a discipline, and you know how discipline is acquired: hard work, trial and error, long hours of study and years of consistent and steady application.

Your website is part of an overall marketing strategy for your organization. It must be an intelligent part to be effective. It must be organic. Like all the other moving parts of your marketing strategy, the website must be kept relevant to the customer's needs and expectations. It can't stand alone and do the job for you.

Only you can do the job. What job am I talking about? Achieving success. And there's no way to do it but retro.

Guest blogger Dennis Mathis is a long-time resident of the Four Corners who nurtures an interest in writing, marketing, technology, reading and business. About a year ago, he retired from a public relations job and is now formally self-managed. It is a harder job than he imagined it would be. He and his wife, Nancy, live in a log cabin near Lemon Lake decorated with birdhouses, and when the water is calm, they kayak along Lemon's graceful shoreline.

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