The Worst Marketing Advice We've Ever Heard

So, typically in this blog we try to drop a line or two to be helpful. We try and offer tidbits, tricks of the trade, etc. This week we’re doing the opposite. Here is a list of the worst pieces of marketing advice we’ve come across.

  1.  “It might not look good, but it’ll convert.” Okay this is less advice, more of a phrase. But people aren’t machines. Flesh and blood responds to flesh and blood. Have a point of view, do something — yep we’re saying this again — interesting. Conversations are important, but let’s be honest, the whole point of all of this is to sell more stuff. See last week's blog about buyer friction on that one. What if it looked good and converted? How much more would it convert? What if you had a decent sales guy that dressed like a slob? He converts sure, but he’s probably missing just as much as he’s hitting. I say “he” in this sentence because us guys are more likely to be slobs.

  2.  “You can’t release anything until it’s perfect.” I have a hard time with this one. I like things to be perfect but perfect can be really hard, it’s like two notches above excellent. What if you spend your time trying to make something perfect and it was a dumb idea anyways? Well, what a waste of time and effort that was. At least when you release and iterate you can get feedback along the way. Also, we creatives have a hard time saying something is “done”. It’s easy for us to keep working for months on end, if we’re given the option. One of these days I’m renting a cabin and I’ll spend two solid weeks writing a commercial, or in a French cafe like Hemingway in A Moveable Feast.

  3.  “The internet is a fad.” No, just no.

  4.  “Everything needs ROI.” Marketing isn’t like merchandise, most of the time it’s really hard to track. Example: you watch an ad for a car, three months later you buy a new car. Their agency probably gets little to no credit for that sale. The car client, in this case, assumes that their brand (which includes that ad) germinated within your mind to equal a purchase. We have gotten infinitely better at tracking the effectiveness of marketing but it’s still not perfect. What we can track are tangible things like: number of conversations, mentions, likes, tweets, and shares. These things have no instant effect on the bottom line, but, what they to do offer, will add up to be a net-positive to your overall brand. That’s why they call them “ads” get it?

  5.  “You have to have a Facebook page.” Well, it might not be right for you when you consider the following example: you’re a Proctologist and every time someone likes your page it shows up in their feed that “so and so liked John James Proctology”. Nobody wants that on their timeline. Furthermore nobody wants to be able to poke through the pages likes and see who they know. On a more serious note, this is why Psychologists and Psychiatrists need not have these pages. Are you in a private profession? If your customers, clients, or patients would appreciate privacy then stay off the social media. Essentially, if it makes sense for your audience, go ahead, join Facebook, if not, you can skip this effort. Not every marketing tactic is going to work for every business, industry. Figure out what’s right for your business, marketing-wise, then determine the best way to accomplish it.