Economists always disagree; put three of them in a phone box and they’ll come out with four different opinions. The thing is, economists would like us to think they run a “science” (indeed you can study “economic science” at university), but actually it’s all guesswork. Admittedly it’s reasonably educated guesswork, but it’s guesswork all the same.
We don’t really know that if you take some particular action in the economy, some resultant reaction will definitely take place. Economists think it might, but there will always be other economists who disagree. In physics, though (a real science), we know that a force in one direction will ALWAYS result in an opposite reactive force. So despite what these economic scientists may have us think, they are not in the same league as Newton.
So, yesterday we had the spectacle of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom delivering a speech in which he was “confident” that we’d be out of recession in a matter of months and that economic growth would be at levels we had just a few months ago, in little more than a year from now. However, the economists at the Treasury who dreamt up this notion have plenty of independent colleagues who disagree. Indeed, it’s hard to find an economist that does agree with the predictions of the Treasury.
The “big plan” is to reduce Value Added Tax; this means instead of having £100 to spend you’ll now have £102.50. Big deal. It’s bound to make people rush to the shops in droves – or is it?
The fact is, Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown are in the same position as George W. Bush; they are floundering around in the dark without a clue as to what to do. They get conflicting advice from different “economic scientists” and they then try to please all the people all the time, resulting in yet more economic chaos.
The only thing we are sure of is uncertainty in the world’s finances. But that’s not new – we have never really known what is going to happen with the global economy, it’s just that we like to kid ourselves we do know. Face it, we don’t.
So, what has all this to do with your online business and your web site? Well, firstly don’t expect any Government meddling to actually help. The UK package of “support” yesterday didn’t even mention the Internet – shows how much the Treasury is cognisant of online business. Secondly, the varying economic advice is much like the differing information you get about Internet marketing. One consultant tells you one thing, while another adviser tells you something different.
There are no certainties online just as there are no economic certainties. Anyone who tells you that you should “do this” and you’ll “achieve that” is misleading you. The only truth about your business is the information you get from your customers and potential customers. Do what they say, what they want and you will succeed. Follow the advice of people who don’t understand your customers and you are doomed.
Strange then that Alistair Darling didn’t follow the advice of his “customers” the British voters who seemed to want the banks “dealt with” rather than propped up.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+