Modern Marketing Techniques... Rant!

21st July 2020

It will be very hard for me to say nice things about the marketing techniques that I see and read about. Most of them feel like from a cheap manual book of a corner pimp that is a rather shady character that you want to avoid at all costs most of the time. You do bump into him from time to time because the convenience store is there and you need your late night top up shopping. I have been sent this link yesterday to give it another go from a different angle. The gentleman who is the author of it seems like a decent dude but the strategies is something that just makes me cringe. Let me have a go at few of them so you can see my point.

Email marketing and related... First of all why does anyone even sell my personal or business email address (is there also a market for buying and selling peoples home addresses?) and secondly who in their right mind thinks it is a good idea to send me an email with their product or service that I did NOT ask for and do NOT want? Even if I am looking to buy lets say Nike shoes and somehow I get an email with an offer. Do you really think I am going to open up that email and do a purchase from them? Like how detached from reality are you? This also applies to any service as well. If I am looking for something I will do it myself and most likely do some research and get 3-5 quotes from different companies before I pull the trigger and spend my hard earned cash. Am I in a tiny minority that does this? Or people just part with their cash on daily basis with impulse buying like money grows on trees?

The second part of this strategy is collecting emails from people via a download link. I don't get it. What sacred knowledge do you have that is that hard to find on the internet? And if by some chance what you have is of interest to me and you ask for my email address how does this allow you to pester me for the rest of the time that I will be using that email account? I only got a PDF (lets say it is in this example) once and now you will be able to send me your ads / updates every time you feel like it? What? How is that a fair trade? Or you will sell my details to a different company that will keep sending me stuff I never wanted or asked for. As someone that works in marketing do you like spending several minutes each day removing junk emails you never asked for? Me neither. I am sure I am not the first but there are services that offer burner emails. They create a random email by the virtue of opening their site, you put the new email into the website where you want the download from, you refresh that burner email in the browser to get your value added content and you get on with your day without giving away your real email address.

Linkedin campaigns and stuff... This is just a more elaborated version of the email from above, but in this scenario Linkedin already knows all of the users. So you will be paying Linkedin to send your message to a targeted audience (relevant laser targeting). Sounds reasonable especially given the fact that nobody forced me to use that platform. But for some strange reason you also think that I am going to have a friendlier outlook from your message ad and buy from you? What? Who doesn't get several cold messages a day? Who doesn't get connection requests just to get a lovely (sarcasm) sales pitch few seconds after you have clicked the Accept button? And the worse part of it all is that those people never usually even read your profile but just want to get in your face with whatever they are trying to sell (now ain't that comforting). I am lost for words here how unproductive it is in my view. Every time I think of a marketing strategy I think how would I feel if someone did it to me online or in the real world and most of the time I am not happy or annoyed. Call me weird for not liking to be pestered from all angles.

Influencers... This one is just plain stupid. Again, I am sure that it is not just me that noticed this but an influencer is just a glorified sales person. It does not help that everyone with an instagram account and 200 followers seems to describe themselves as such - that is a rant for a different day. So, how on earth you can be an influencer when you will charge money to show your audience my product... How am I supposed to take you seriously? All you want to do most of the time is to have a good time and make money by showing stuff that you eat, clothes that you wear and places you go to (and probably other things but I am not going there). When I look at influencer X and they are "promoting" a product I know that most likely they got paid to show it and that they are not really invested in it personally (aka not giving two rats about it and they will happily show a different product next month if the money is better). Everyone tries to make a quick buck and loves the dopamine rush from the likes and shares. Also, who looks up at them and thinks: Ohh yeah, that person has swag and knows what they are talking about = I will buy whatever they tell me to. What happened to looking up to people who are actually changing our world and moving society forward? Next please.

What marketing is really about... Gathering data about You aka prospect! Notice the language that is being used in the marketing world. You are not a valued potential customer, you are just a prospect! Let that sink in for a moment. Based on many youtube videos and some of the blogs I have been researching I have come to a conclusion that marketing wants to know stuff about you (could be obvious to everyone else apart from me). This is great as it helps you to target the audience that will most likely buy. However, there is an if. Have you ever come across that lovely pop-up that tells you that this website is using "cookies" to make your experience better? Yeah, I do not believe that for a second. The website that you are visiting most likely wants to learn as much as possible about you while at the same time maybe it will allow you to remember what you have put in the cart, but not because it likes you but more of a self interest as maybe you will buy things. What it really wants is to interact with you so that someone else can show you that lovely Nike shoe you been googling next time you use your Facebook app. Isn't this all you ever wanted? Also getting that lovely newsletter subscription pop-up screen is also something you been dreaming about for the last 5 years. Just as a little awareness test: Did you notice any cookie pop-up or newsletter subscription box on my blog? Exactly! I never really got the idea of making someone like you by pushing stuff in front of the other persons face. In real life you avoid people like that as if they are conjured by Satan himself.

Now, I am going to go on a limb here and fast forward into the future a bit. Lets say it is 2025 and you live in a decent house with some smarts to it in a form of some speaker that you can use to control things like the lights, your garage and other stuff. Few IoT sensors here and there to make your life just better in general. You are enjoying it! Who is there to stop some of the big companies to gather some "troubleshooting" data from your devices to provide you with a "better quality of service"? Now wouldn't this be a marketers wet dream come true to have access to some sort of patterns of behaviour that is happening in 1000s of houses across the country? Pattern + home address = you can send some "targeted ads" to them lovely people via mail this time, send them a sales person to knock on the door... Or maybe even send them a lovely email or better provide some kind of voice ad on their smart speaker every 10th request they make. Not to mention that the speaker already most likely is listening to what you are talking about when you really would not want it to = great way to enumerate your household members to give them the best ads ever! Is that something you would be happy to live with?

Seems like I went a bit crazy here but I am sure that you most likely get where I am coming from if you managed to get to this point. Please tell me how wrong I am if you have the background and know how to do so. I am ignorant in many cases so tell me that all of this is not true and that marketing is just this happy innocent activity that is all about happiness and rainbows. However I see it as being nosey and trying to gather data to leverage this, borderline espionage and dodgy tactics. Even if it means that you will annoy the living hell out of some people. Aren't there any other, better, less intrusive and obnoxious techniques out there to do marketing? Rant over...

Do not get me wrong. I do run a small business and obviously want to be known by people in my community / city / county. But I do not want to be "this" guy, the street corner pimp that everyone is avoiding because he is pushy and annoying + you do not know if he will steal your money and / or car.

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