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Marketing People are Snake Oil Salesmen

We live in an era where everyone is a salesperson, everyone is a marketing person, and yet very few are skilled in the art of sales and marketing.

Yes, I'm a marketing person. No, I don't sell snake oil, but it's become clear to me that I could, and people would buy it. Why do I say this? Why would I say this about "my kind?"

The answer is simple. There are more self anointed marketing people now than ever. Many of these people are knowledgeable and great at what they do, but some of them, many of them, don't know their ass from their elbow.

There are more self anointed marketing people now than ever. Many of these people are knowledgeable and great at what they do, but some of them, many of them, don't know their ass from their elbow.

While I'm on the anatomy theme, it has occurred to me that marketing people are like doctors (without the credentials). When you go to a doctor, you make an assumption that they know how to perform the surgery you need, because let's face it, most of us aren't educated enough to perform surgery on ourselves. Well, when some business owners need marketing help, they turn to what they believe to be a marketing "doctor" and what I'm finding is that many business owners are ending up with cement in their rear ends. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/cement-butt-injections-oneal-ron-morris_n_1343167.html


I had a client come to me a few years ago and it was revealed that he gave a "marketing person" $10,000 to feature him on a website. The problem is that this marketing person bought a URL with no plans on how to drive traffic to it. The website sat and sat, never getting any traffic and my poor client was out $10k.


Just the other day, I had a conversation with another person who has their own marketing company. This person wanted to see how we could "help each other". So, after asking what this person does for their clients and getting answers like, "We do social media and make websites and lots of marketing functions." I asked what platform the websites were built on. It was revealed that she didn't know, but had a vendor that handled the websites. "Ok," I said, "what do you do for social media? Do you run ads?" Oh yes, my web guy uses Wildfire." Now I'm thinking to myself, are you kidding me? One has nothing to do with the other. Further, it sounds like the web guy might be a marketing person, but this person is a project manager - at best. At that point, I exited.


And I ponder. How do you, as a business owner know whether a marketing person is going to give you the best facelift ever or put cement in your ass?


Just keep a few things in mind: you need to get referrals, you need to ask how long they have had their clients (bad marketing people churn through clients, good ones keep them for years), and you need to find out what their background is - are they qualified to market your business? Do your due diligence and always get a second opinion.

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