Worst Marketing Advice from a Reputable Source? (and Why?)

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What is the worst marketing advice you've seen from an otherwise reputable source? And why do you consider it to be terrible marketing advice?

I'll get things going.

One piece of terrible marketing advice I vividly remember was on a blog for freelancers, where a guy pontificated that there wasn't a single freelancer who had built a reputation without blogging. Therefore, you must blog.

My response: Hello! I'm a successful freelancer (30+ years) by any measure of success and I do not blog.

I wrote up a long reply to this post explaining why I don't blog, why blogging might not suit certain people and what one could do instead.

They wouldn't publish my reply! They said it was too argumentative. Duh... So I posted it on my own website. (You can read it here.)

Besides the fact that the advice was based on a provably false assumption, why else was it bad advice? In my view, just about anything in marketing phrased as a "must" is dangerously wrong. Almost always, there are alternate ways to achieve a given result. Usually there are many, many ways to achieve the result, and when you're a lone worker, you get more done with better results when you choose marketing tactics that are a fit with your lifestyle, values, preferences and personality.

Blogging isn't right for everyone. And you can succeed without it.

All right now, what's your example of lousy marketing advice from a reputable source?

Marcia Yudkin
#advice #articles #blogging #marketing #reputable #source #worst
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Something I have seen several times is false information about testing. Specifically about how often to send out emails.

    Many times the argument goes that they've tested it and the more often you send the better or you need to send at least 1/2 times a day or something similar. It seems that more frequent always wins the tests and so they use this as their proof that they've tested it and their actions are based on their tests.

    However, I can almost 100% promise you that they didn't test weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Everytime I've asked whether they have tested longer times I never got a good answer. In some cases they just ignored me.

    There are a lot of successful newsletters send out daily and a lot of successful ones put out less frequently. For example, Paul Myers doesn't mail daily. Dave Ramsey mails monthly. And there are many more examples that could be given.

    The argument here isn't about the frequency and whether it's good or bad. The argument is about the claim of thorough testing.

    As a result of those claims, we get deluged with junk email daily or more often just because someone else supposedly tested it so this must be the way to go.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

    What is the worst marketing advice you've seen from an otherwise reputable source? And why do you consider it to be terrible marketing advice?

    What I have noticed lately is a lot of "how to" advice given on various marketing subjects by members that have no first-hand or personal experience whatsoever with the topic.

    I asked several of these members in their threads what their advice was based upon as some of their suggestions ran totally against my own business experience and findings.

    One OP explained he had written his article based on his own theories, not from his actual experience.

    To me at least, this is terrible marketing advice, especially damaging to newbies that don't know better.

    Warriors are giving advice and teaching others based not on any real-world experience or case studies . . . they are merely instructing members how to do things based on their own guess as to what might work. They never divulge in their post that they have no first-hand experience as the basis of their advice.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author rritz
    Well, I was going to post something about this, but it might fit here as well ...

    what I see a lot lately is marketing advice that is all centered about tools, not concepts

    To elaborate, say someone asks about how they should market their brand / Product in a given niche

    and what pops up are answers like: Facebook ads is the best, no you must go youtube, use adwords, use ppc, SEO your site ... and so on and then the OP sets up a facebook ad campaign and throws away a lot of money marketing to they do not know who and getting leads they cannot turn into customers and everything goes from bad to worse ...

    Because they are just given names of tools.

    Instead of which they should be given an idea on how to get together a marketing concept, defining their ideal customers, defining their USP, defining their niche,
    determining how to best reach these customers, how to brand themselves, how to bond with customers
    and so on

    I think this is lamentable, and bad advice leaving the impression that as long as you use a lot of the 'tools of the trade' you are doing a good job with your marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

    All right now, what's your example of lousy marketing advice from a reputable source?

    "Another strategy that works quite well is to send out emails whenever you post a new blog entry. This only really works if you write less than 3-4 posts per week. Too many emails and people will get annoyed, even if you are sending them things they want."

    Read that in an otherwise good blogging course by a famous blogger whose name rhymes with cow.

    The main implication of this is that it's not wise to mail your list daily - and I disagree.

    Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    false information about testing. Specifically about how often to send out emails.
    Mark,

    That's a really interesting point you're making - that the things they're testing are quite limited and therefore have limited applicability.

    Thanks for getting us thinking!

    Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Warriors are giving advice and teaching others based not on any real-world experience or case studies . . . they are merely instructing members how to do things based on their own guess as to what might work. They never divulge in their post that they have no first-hand experience as the basis of their advice.
    Steve, I agree with you that this has gotten exponentially worse here in the last month or so.

    The overall point, and I agree with you on it, is to consider the source before you accept the validity of any advice - or even of any information.

    Someone who displays no authority in their content and does not link to a credible website or social media profile should be questioned, called out or simply ignored.

    Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    what I see a lot lately is marketing advice that is all centered about tools, not concepts
    Rritz, that's a really interesting example. Thanks!

    I agree with you that telling someone simply to use a tool is not helpful since the tool can be used stupidly or wisely, effectively or not. So in fact the way to use the tool is normally much more important than the tool itself.

    Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    One that has rankled me for some time without me being able to put my finger on why is: emulate success.

    I finally figured it out. What gets under my skin is the "successes" people name as those to follow.

    Taking Mark's point about how often to email, I see people saying things like "Amazon sends marketing mails every day, and Jeff Bezos is a billionaire" so they should send emails every day as well.

    What a big corporation does and what a solo entrepreneur or small team should do are different, because they have different objectives. Marketing teams within big corporations have shareholders and directors to please, turf to protect and backsides to cover. Once that's done, they can turn their attention to making a profit. Small/solo businesses have to make a profit. Period.

    The budgets available to big corporations and small-timers are also different. How many members here could run the kind of long term saturation ad campaigns run by major corporations? Yet they try to "emulate success" and their ads are lost in the blizzard like an albino polar bear.

    If you want to emulate success, emulate someone a step or three further along the trail and let the corporate guys and gals fight it out among themselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author daftdog
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      If you want to emulate success, emulate someone a step or three further along the trail and let the corporate guys and gals fight it out among themselves.

      This may not be completely on topic, so sorry if I get off subject...firstly though it wasn't until I did the above that I saw success and of course stopped buying every new product and instead realized that I knew enough to take daily action...taking action is key as we all know!

      The OP said that he has been a freelancer for 30 years...would love to hear more about that...

      Anyway my point (If there is one LOL) is product creators who release a new CPA or product of any kind that is not to do with affiliate marketing and the income proof they show is from either from JVzoo or W+....now I am fairly sure that showing income proof for a CPA product which is from sending out an email and making affiliate sales on JVzoo or W+ etc is no proof at all....as someone who reviews a lot of products I just cant bring myself to promote products with the above mentioned income proof unless it is about list building or affiliate marketing...I feel cheated and so should the buyers..

      Cheers,

      Marc

      PS. Sorry if this got off topic...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Another one we see is when people, supposedly in the know, claim the death of certain things. Many times the old thing hasn't died, but the "guru" wants to sell a new tool so they proclaim the old way is dead to bolster sales for the new thing.

    For example, I've seen otherwise reputable people say that using a video sales letter is the best way to go these days because people don't read long sales letters anymore.

    Yet many of them bring up the long sales letter if the user tries to close the browser tab while watching the video.

    Why does the user want to close the browser tab? Because they don't want to sit through a 30 minute pitch without the opportunity to pause, fast forward, etc. just to find out the price or to see the main points to see if the product is something they want. In other words, the user would rather see the long sales letter than the video.

    Copywriters teach the importance of bullet points, headlines, skimmable text, etc. Those features are not available in video sales letters that I know of. So by stressing the importance of a new tool and the death of something else, they also kill off many underlying principles of success.

    Mark

    Edit: I'm not a copywriter so Marcia may have a different viewpoint on the VSL versus sales letter example. But this is just an example. What's wrong is teaching something is dead when it really isn't.
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    • Profile picture of the author daftdog
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      Another one we see is when people, supposedly in the know, claim the death of certain things. Many times the old thing hasn't died, but the "guru" wants to sell a new tool so they proclaim the old way is dead to bolster sales for the new thing.

      For example, I've seen otherwise reputable people say that using a video sales letter is the best way to go these days because people don't read long sales letters anymore.

      Yet many of them bring up the long sales letter if the user tries to close the browser tab while watching the video.

      Why does the user want to close the browser tab? Because they don't want to sit through a 30 minute pitch without the opportunity to pause, fast forward, etc. just to find out the price or to see the main points to see if the product is something they want. In other words, the user would rather see the long sales letter than the video.

      Copywriters teach the importance of bullet points, headlines, skimmable text, etc. Those features are not available in video sales letters that I know of. So by stressing the importance of a new tool and the death of something else, they also kill off many underlying principles of success.

      Mark

      Edit: I'm not a copywriter so Marcia may have a different viewpoint on the VSL versus sales letter example. But this is just an example. What's wrong is teaching something is dead when it really isn't.

      Hi Mark,

      Good point. what do you think of completely blind sales copy??

      Cheers

      Marc
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Another one we see is when people, supposedly in the know, claim the death of certain things. Many times the old thing hasn't died, but the "guru" wants to sell a new tool so they proclaim the old way is dead to bolster sales for the new thing.
    Yes, and in another thread someone claimed the decline of online courses, and when I challenged him he could not provide a source for this claim. He just thought he'd read it.

    This is marketing advice based on NO sources, folks. Pay attention at your peril.

    Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author maxsi
    I find people that have zero experience on what they sell

    in practice they make money from selling the service but they don't use the product
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    The one I hate most is. "You have to have your own product" There are people that are no more qualified than the new article dumpers here that are producing product after product after product, and then making products telling us how to make our own products.

    al
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    A bar of iron cost $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself

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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    I don't know if this is what the OP is looking for, but I see way too often WF members telling others it's okay to use other people's article, pictures, graphics, etc as long as they give credit to the person. No! No! No! No! That's not how it works. To use someone else's work, you MUST have permission and/or pay for the right to use the work.

    Simply giving credit to the person is not enough. You can still get in trouble for it. It's illegal, unethical and pure laziness.

    There really are no shortcuts in IM. If you can't write your own content, hire someone who can. If you can't hire someone, then buy some PLR articles to rewrite. If you can't do that...then you're out of luck. Don't force your problem onto someone else by stealing their work.

    The fact that I see this kind of advice on WF makes me cringe every time and it really can give this place a bad name.

    Luckily, most warriors here are quick to call this kind of advice out and correct the person giving this kind of advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author gabrielrala
    well said!!! I normally read blogs and comments here because I am learning, but most of the time I noticed there are post that is almost simillar to the previous one and they will just rephrased the words! Im actually looking for more deep blogs,
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