If I seem to spend a lot of time criticizing other marketers, it’s because there’s a lot to criticize.
Really, I have two motives.
1. To warn you.
2. To do everything I can to make clear to you that we aren’t like those other guys.
We just don’t want to be put in the same boat as a bunch of low lifes. Like an honest politician, we know we have to work at it.
The sad truth is, some large percentage of marketers devote the bulk of their efforts to fooling people.
Actually, I think some marketers aren’t even aware that they are cheating their customers. They think they are doing good work.
Is that better than someone who knows they putting one over on their customers? You be the judge.
It may be my favorite marketing maxim: Marketers Market. What I mean is, the first thing marketers do is market themselves. That’s not a bad thing. If they don’t market themselves they won’t get customers and they’ll have to get into some other line of work. I almost said they’ll have to get an honest job.
Marketers are often in love with the sound of their own voices and their clever ways.
Where I take issue is where their entire effort is to sound good and convincing. At some point you have to deliver the goods. To produce results for their clients. To justify their fees by getting them more business.
TRUTH IN ADVERTISING
Having known many marketers I truly believe that many of them have no concept of delivering the goods. Their concept of what a marketer does is to convince people to buy. And to such people it doesn’t matter what they say or do to get the sale. The only justification they need is the money they make.
And let me tell you, there are a lot of people who are very good at it.
Truth and honesty don’t have much to do with it, it seems.
The FACT is that marketing is one part of a chain of actions that result in someone (the customer!) being happier, more satisfied, living a better life, and so on. That is how we conceive of our job at thirteen05 creative.
To those who don’t look at it that way, who are just in it for the buck, you can say, that’s unethical. You can say their ought to be a law. True but the fact is that dishonesty in marketing is so prevalent there is no effective defense against it. If you tried to put every dishonest marketer in jail you’d run out of jails and a lot of nice kids would be missing their daddies or mommies.
No, there is only one solution.
That’s a Latin phrase “Let the buyer beware.” It’s even a legal principle:
the principle that the buyer is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods or services before a purchase is made.
But whether it is a legally valid principle or not, it is the smart, safe way to engage in purchasing – whether you are buying marketing services, a toaster oven, or stock.
HOW TO AVOID BEING FOOLED
The following are my own core rules for purchasing:
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
2. The size of a company is no guarantee of the validity of their claims.
3. A single endorsement is useless.
4. A bunch of endorsements are only useful if they appear on a platform which is itself trustworthy, e.g., Google Reviews.
5. Endorsements to be useful must be applicable to your situation. If you are a startup, endorsements from businesses with thousands of employees are not predictive of the results you’ll get.
6. Similarly, you have to evaluate the features and benefits in relation to your specific requirements.
8. Don’t stop asking questions until you run out of questions.
9. One clearly evident lie should send you running away from the deal.
THAT’S A LOT OF WORK
Thoroughly checking out a vendor or an offering can be a lot of work. And sometimes it isn’t worth a lot of trouble. You aren’t going to spend 10 hours deciding whether to buy a power bar.
So the effort you put into it does have to be judged against the importance of the purchase or contract.
If it is a major decision which can affect the whole future course of your business, chances are it is worth a good deal of care to get it right.
I have spoken to business owners who have (no exaggeration) hired 10 different marketing companies, one after the other, and never got results – 10 years later.
I think its fair to say they didn’t do their due diligence.
Despite the pressure of time and the urgency of a decision, don’t you make that same mistake.