The effectiveness of a marketing mechanism is going to be inversely proportional to the volume of spam generated and marketed to the same demographic using that same mechanism. If a mechanism is saturated with spam you need to do things that add credibility or make your spam look less spamlike than the bulk of generated spam. As people kill the effectiveness of a medium or mechanism due to mass spam generation they may be setting up a new birth. The vastness of the web, the contrarian marketer idea, and the fact that antimarket forces (such as having knowledge, brand, government contracts, social connections, user lock-in, or data that competing businesses do not) are key to profiting are all a large part of the reason why SEO information can be so sketchy in nature.
I get lots of emails from people expecting a free business plan. If you expect the information you get from a free personalized email to be your edge in your marketplace then you ought to rethink your plan. The only way I am going to research a market in depth is if it is for a paid client or if I think I may want to enter it.
What works for me may not work for you. Where I fail you may be extraordinary. It all depends on your personality type, goals and interests. That is why my book and blog are more about throwing out lots of ideas that people can use to market instead of just offering some dumb no value add easy bake formula.
Surface level analysis typically only shows you what others are already doing. On the web it is hard to follow someone else's footsteps and catch them, especially if they think ahead and reinvest profits. Before you enter a market it helps to think of what value add, branding angle, or other idea you can use as a hook. What does the market want that is not being adequately supplied by the current vendors?
I had a cool chat with Caveman about the whole contrarian idea. That guy is sharp.
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