BAD MARKETING: Don't do these 7 things

Follow the Herd.  Whatever you are selling- a product or a service, you need to find a way to be different from the crowd. Not in a gimmicky way, but in a way that is memorable and meaningful to your target audience. If you are following your competition, you will end up in a blur. Your product or service can be as special and interesting as you. In geometry, eccentric literally means not having the same center. Be eccentric. 

Interrupt your Prospects.  Attention is the great commodity of the 21st century. As a consumer (or a business), you are not allowed to interrupt me. Only I can give you permission to talk to me and I will only do it if I hear something about you from someone else. Don’t interrupt your customers.

Don’t tell a story:  The quickest way you lose me as a potential customer is when you tell me how your factory makes your product. I don’t care. What matters to me is a story that I can tell others about how your product benefits me or makes me feel. Stories are the currencies of marketing in the 21st century.

Lie to Me: Genuineness and authenticity is what allows capital to flow. My first screen when I hear about something is to wonder if it is real, is it true, is it credible. Does Tom’s Shoes really give away a pair of shoes to someone in need? If so, I like buying shoes from someone like that. If you lie or present an inauthentic experience, you can’t win back my trust. Warren Buffet said it takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to throw it away.

Bother me without permission: If I buy from you, don’t keep annoying me with too many offers. Once and a while is okay if you have something new and interesting but a deluge of spam, email and crap is annoying. I get roughly 14 pieces of white mail each week from a credit card company soliciting my business. They all get tossed as quickly as they show up. I never asked them to send this to me so without permission, I’m not interested.

Survey till the cows come home:  I’m sorry Holiday Inn, Hertz or Novatel, I don’t care to tell you about my experience at the hotel via email. Please don’t bother me to tell you on a scale of 1 to 9 how I liked the service. I will vote with my next reservation or lack thereof.  I get too many surveys now and no I don’t have 5 minutes to spare telling you what went wrong. Instead, treat me like a human being. Find special ways to make my engagement with you personal as if I am your only customer.

Ask me to Like you on Facebook:  If I want to be your friend, I’ll find you. Asking someone to Like you on Facebook is like asking people to be your friend in the real world.  Sorry, but I want to hang out with you, I’ll come looking.  The power of Facebook is when I want to be part of your community and identify myself with your tribe. Don’t ask. Let me discover you. If I observe you engaging with me in real human terms, I’ll be hooked. Don’t ask to be my friend. Earn it.

The more I write about marketing, the more it becomes so clear that great marketing is like great relationships with friends and colleagues. You trust each other and would do anything to help and support them. You anticipate their needs and show up at the right time, when they least expect it. You do things without asking for anything in return. Friendships are earned and respect occurs over time when you are treated well. 

Brands need to treat consumers with that same touch.

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