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"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Avoiding (Online) Assaults on Our Audiences as Digital Marketers

‘Digital assault’—it’s barely even hyperbole.  As marketers, it’s what many of us have actually been incentivized to do. Evaluated and compensated on meeting any of a wide assortment of digital quotas, the temptation has often proved irresistible … to avail ourselves of—and even misuse—the (relatively) low-cost customer-acquisition and sales tools afforded us by the internet.

As digital marketing has matured, more players have emerged from more places, seeking broader audience bases and more fully filling screens of all sizes with things that—as recipients of marketing writ large—we generally wish we didn’t need to wade through en route to the communications that are actually important to us and our businesses.

Chances are good you need only open your inbox to feel bludgeoned—assaulted—by a trifecta of irrelevant/self-serving content, truly malicious messaging (some disguised as benign, some not), and perhaps most exhausting, an almost—if not actually—unaddressable volume.

Against this backdrop, marketers in general would be well served to wholistically rethink many of their strategies. At the same time, they shouldn’t forget that there is much to be gained (relationship, loyalty, revenue) for early adopters of authentically ‘people-first’ principles and tools—those who opt in early for more precise targeting and permission/consent-based communications with specific audiences we know need or want to hear what we have to say.

Never before has the customer (or partner or prospect) had more choices. Never before have alternatives been so broad and easily accessible. Never before have our audiences been more in the drivers seat. In a very real way, core ‘people-first’ philosophies—and behavior consistent with those philosophies—will increasingly be required of any organization seeking to avoid disruption moving into the future.

Unchanging Principle, Changing Communications

At Tokara, we think that’s wonderful. Because of the nature of our business, Tokara’s CRM and marketing automation consultants and engineers specialize in implementing and optimizing the very tools designed to help our customers (and us as a company of course) move ever closer to the lofty (and business-savvy) goal of ‘people-first.’

If you’ve known us for years, as many of our clients have, you know our commitment to putting people first and providing the highest value CRM and marketing automation consulting (and engineering) for your dollar is a core philosophy of our entire team, and one that will continue to define our interactions, offerings, and vision moving into the future.

Perhaps counterintuitively, our commitment to this unchanging principle means we are being very intentional in making some changes to one of the most valuable assets we have with our clients, partners, and even prospects—the way we communicate with them—whether that’s on our website, via email, or through other means.

Replacing ‘More’ with ‘Better’

Some changes will be obvious, others will be ‘behind the scenes.’ But the reason for all of them is simple: as CRM consultants, we’re painfully aware of that constantly increasing, underlying pressure we all feel from the barrage of digital messaging we receive—whether it’s coming to us, or we’re seeking it out.

We know “more” isn’t “better”—unless it’s more relevant, more personalized, and more user friendly. More time efficient is better. Carefully curated, higher-value content and resources are ‘better.’ So the changes you’ll see in our digital presence moving forward are ones we’re carefully crafting (and asking for feedback about) to ensure we give you ‘better’—not just ‘more.’

Setting Expectations for the Series

Because issues around online presence and digital communication are many of the exact topics you ask us about as CRM and marketing automation experts, we’re going to share a bit more detail on what we’re doing and why, so you can consider any parallels that might also apply to your business communications and relationships. Consider this article an introduction to the following titles, and let us know if there are related topics you and your business would like to know more about:

  • Why Website Look & Feel Is about More than Aesthetics: Using Customer Focus to Drive Design Decisions that Deliver Better Functionality, Ease of Use, and Relevance


  • Because Not All (Blogs) Are Created Equal—or Even Read: Reinventing Your Blog to Deliver Maximum Customer Relevance & Value Positions Your Business as (‘Permission-Based’) Thought Leader


  • Hey, That Wasn’t There Before! Applying ‘People-First’ Principles to Communicating Online Offerings


Challenging Marketers to Maintain Focus on the Forest, Model ‘People-First’ Principles

As marketers of any stripe, it’s easy to inadvertently lose the ‘people-first’ perspective and sink into the tactical ‘weeds.’ As professionals, our challenge is to constantly remember that while the digital universe allows us unimagined, unprecedented opportunities to communicate and influence—our success will increasingly depend on how carefully we treat those opportunities, ensuring we always provide what our audiences are looking for—not just what we want to sell.