Beware, marketers: Shiny, new technology has a pesky way of developing rust spots as it ages

Back in the Dark Ages—by that I mean the 1980s—marketers were agog over the potential to expand their range of consumer targeting through the use of that new medium called the facsimile machine.

Restaurants could fax promotional offers and their menus to nearby businesses, and the employees could fax back their orders. Boy!

Then along came e-mail, which did not exactly kill faxes but certainly rendered fax marketing nearly impotent. Who actually communicates by fax anymore?

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