You know you're in trouble when you start quoting yourself. But let's face it, certain things do repeat themselves over time. In the area of marketing systems, one recurring topic is the need to help users make better decisions.

More specifically, the issue is that new systems often provide marketers with more options than they can effectively manage. When the Web was new, this channel opened a nearly infinite range of possibilities for customer treatments. It took years for companies to get some idea of what makes sense. They had to invent new metrics, find new benchmarks, develop standard practices, understand and guide customer expectations, and experiment to refine their results. Sometimes they had to reverse direction: pop-up ads seemed brilliant for a time but then became simply annoying.

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