Posts Tagged ‘marketers’
I had an experience recently that called into question much of what I've believed and tried (increasingly) to practice over the years, and I decided I should blog about it, and maybe even ask for your thoughts.
First off, let me 'fess up and say that I can't claim to have always been 100% totally transparent or hype-free, and I'm certainly not trying to imply otherwise with this post. The lure of easy money has a very strong appeal, as the song says, and I've given into temptation on occasion. I've also been just plain ol' lazy more times than I care to admit.
Even so, I have consistently worked harder at it over the years, and I feel like I have a pretty decent track record at this point — even though, at the moment, I'm starting to wonder if it was all for naught.
Okay? So with that said, I suppose the best way to proceed (or the best way I can think of) is with a few questions, as I have more questions than answers right now, and it is these questions, just lately, that are keeping me up nights.
- Are we, as a society (or as consumers, if you prefer) now completely addicted to hype?
If someone tries to sell us something without exaggerating the benefits and without downplaying the drawbacks, does that necessarily mean there is no way in hell we are ever going to buy?
- Do we now assume that any honesty in marketing is just another cynical ploy?
Is there really any room for honesty or transparency in marketing any more? I know plenty of marketers and consumers talk about it, incessantly, and claim to practice it, and claim to want more of it, but is there really any room for it if the assumption always is going to be that it doesn't really exist? Or that to the extent it does exist, it is just another tactic?
- If a marketer or salesman comes on as honest, is your first instinct to distrust him (or her)?
Maybe this comes down to how many times you've been burned by those claiming to be nothing but honest. But does even making the claim that one is honest actually work against a marketer now as so many who have not demonstrated anything in the way of honesty contantly make the same claim?
- How honest is too honest to be believed?
If someone actually tells us some of what to watch out for, and how we might be able to make better judgments about when and whether we are being bamboozled, and begins to reveal some of the psychology and methodology by which we are being taken… is that an insult to our intelligence?
Are we to assume that we are all (even the inexperienced) always cognizant and fully informed of, and about, such matters? — that we would never fall for such manipulations? And are we to assume, also, that any such 'educational' effort is simply another cynical strategy to win our trust so that we will be vulnerable and get burned yet again?
As for why I'm asking these questions, I won't go into all the details — at least not yet. As I said, it was a recent experience that brought this on, and it has caused me to question whether or not we are all addicts of hyperbole now… and whether there is really any point anymore in being honest.
Of course, there is always the ethical point that honest is the right thing to be, but if customers are always going to conclude that any such honesty is just another ploy, and if customers are always, or mostly, only going to buy into the hyperbole anyway, then is the concept of honest marketing an oxymoron?
And if so, why not just give it up… and get with our deliberately deceptive times… and run with our hyperbolic brothers and sisters… and possibly make more money by simply giving consumers even more of what they seem to want and expect?
I mean, yeah, of course that would be wrong from your average moralist's or ethicist's point of view, but wouldn't it also be giving a whole lot of consumers exactly what they demand? (And isn't that kinda sorta a marketer's raison d'etre?)
This recent incident — well, I guess I've said all I'm going to say about it. I guess, maybe because I'm in the planning stages for a product launch, it just threw me off my game, and I'm just kinda struggling with all these questions right now, so… if you have one, I would really appreciate your helpful comment.
Sick and tired of defending your reputation?
Well, that's just too bad.
We were recently invited to promote the concept of creating and misrepresenting your own review sites to promote your own products, i.e., in other words, a training course that promised to teach you the ins and outs of, and supposed advantages of, creating faked review sites that pretend to be unbiased, but are in fact anything but. We are aware that this is a fairly common practice, and that even some of the big boys do it out of hand. We're pretty sure one of our associates even tweeted the training course on Twitter at one point, but upon review, we could think of no circumstances under which this practice could be construed as ethical. So sorry guys. No can do. And no more tweets, either.
Obviously, we can't change the world, much less the world of internet marketing, and we can't even guarantee that some of the products and marketers we promote don't, or won't ever, engage in such practices, so all we can really say is… the next time you are looking for an unbiased review of a product, be sure whose review site you're actually looking at, if that's even a possibility, and keep in mind that everyone in the marketplace has a bias, even MythoSpheres Development, and any marketer pretending otherwise (on the internet or off) is just plain dishonest.
Of course some biases are better than others, i.e., a marketer trying to build and defend their reputation, for example, might have a little bit better bias than a marketer who is trying to avoid having to build and defend their reputation, or more to the point, than a marketer who is teaching others how to avoid having to build and defend their reputations.
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