I am guessing if you know me and that I own an Internet Marketing firm that you think I’ve either lost my mind or that I am planning on a career change very quickly.
I’d have to say I’m getting closer to losing my mind than EVER considering a career change. The bottom line is I love marketing, I just hate the way companies and even some “marketing professionals” interpret what good marketing is. I think these same companies and individuals either forgot why they started their business, or perhaps simply started it for the wrong reasons.
I believe the most successful companies in the world started their company with the intention of solving a problem that existed in the marketplace, and they had a focus on serving people who were experiencing that problem.
Hey, I’m not naive. I know there are also far more people out there who simply jump into industries based on the obsession of chasing dollars and not because they are following their passion. I have no problem with these people either as long as they remember their responsibility to serve the clients they gain along the way.
The following are three things that I believe give people a bad taste in their mouths about marketing.
There is a thin line between persuasion and manipulation and unfortunately I witness companies and “marketing professionals” crossing that line over and over again with absolutely zero shame. It’s as though they are sitting around behind the scenes chuckling about how they peddled just enough BS to “convince” that new client to try them out. It’s sad how integrity seems to be a fleeting quality among some companies.
The biggest challenge with this is the power we have to understand our buyers from the huge digital footprint each of us create through our online activities. Heck, Google alone receives over 1 Billion searches every single day. Every time a person conducts a search, they are raising their hand and saying, “This is what I am interested in!”
The challenge with this is all this data is discover-able by these ill-intention-ed companies and so called professionals, and unfortunately a technology hasn’t been created yet to sift through all the BS and identify the companies with the best of intentions. Until this type of technology is created we’ll be forced to pay close attention to the rule of “buyer beware.”
This isn’t always a negative thing, but it is when you are utilizing it to deflect attention away from the weak points of your products or services. It’s “ok” for your product or service to not be the best in every area. All you need to do is find out how your product is distinctly different in your area of the marketplace, and focus on those areas. That doesn’t mean do it to the point where people miss out on seeing the potential flaws in your offering.
I’m all for complete transparency.
If “spinning” your offer to deflect focus on the flaws gets you a client today … how happy will that client be when they identify the flaws? Why not point those out up front and let your customer make the decision on what’s most important to them, and if they can live with that flaw if they purchase from you. I personally would rather gain a client that knows completely what they are getting themselves into, rather than try to “spin” my offer to trick them.
You may be thinking I am the head of the Department of Redundancy Department with this one, but I see it as different than “manipulation” and “spin.” I agree that it is closely related, but this is far more blatant.
I find the biggest cases of this coming from people who seem to be the smartest, yet have chosen to utilize there skills in a far less than ethical manner. These people find out who their specific “buyer” is. They find out what is most important to them. They identify the emotional triggers they’ll need to pull in order to get them to make the decision to buy from them, and then they say whatever is necessary to get them to buy.
The biggest problem with this is it’s the same process companies and marketing professionals with the correct intent follow as well. The only difference is they make sure their company can deliver on the promise they’ve made, and if they can’t, they improve their product and company to make sure they can.
Although I’ve pointed out 3 reasons why marketing sucks, I can think of a million other reasons why marketing is a necessity to the health of a company. I just wish the bottom feeders would choke on the same crap they are spewing and simply go away.
If you happen to be a marketing professional or someone who handles the marketing for your company, let’s all publicly make a pledge to utilize the intelligence we have at our grasp to create customer experiences that match up to the value proposition we are offering to our clients. Let’s not be afraid of telling the truth, or focusing on the areas in which we are actively improving. If nothing else, we’ll gain the respect of the customers who don’t choose us, and they’ll most likely feel comfortable checking back to see if we’ve made the improvements necessary to gain their business the next time.
I’d love for you to share your views on marketing, especially if you have a differing view. Leave a comment whether you agree or disagree. :)