Does Your Marketing Strategy Suck?

Yesterday, I g0t an e-mail from a local credit card processing provider that has been trying to convince me to switch from using Square over to them. I made it very clear to them about a month ago that I was happy with Square and I was not looking to switch. This most recent e-mail said: “…. I am really surprised to hear that you are happy with Square, as we have many customers who have issues and complaints about their service.” That line alone made me angry first, and then I rolled my eyes with a fair degree of disgust shortly after. I couldn’t help but wonder – do these people realize how badly they hurt themselves by being so aggressive and in all the wrong ways?

Today, I went to a networking meeting, where a bunch of different professionals introduced themselves, bragged for a few minutes about how good they are at what they do, and started handing out business cards to each other, shamelessly asking for referrals. I am pretty sure that all those cards ended up in a trash can shortly after that meeting was over.

As I left the meeting and walked home, I noticed a giant billboard sign: “Injured in a car accident? Call us for justice and compensation” with a large picture of a greasy looking lawyer, who looked like he belonged in “Carlito’s Way”. As I got home, I had a voicemessage from a dentist on my voicemail reminding me that I am due for teeth cleaning. This is the fourth reminder over the past 2 months. When I got home, I also found a postcard from my dentist reminding me that it’s time to get my teeth cleaned. This is the second postcard this month. This card was burried in my mail along with two home-loan refinancing offers, and a bunch of “pre-approved” credit card applications.

I thought that by now, it has become very clear in the world of commerce that being too pushy when it comes to marketing simply doesn’t work, and actually has the opposite effect – annoying people and making them look the other way. The more sophisticated your target clients are, the more likely you are to turn them off by being too eager to sell or too eager to convince them to buy from you rather than from someone else.

The few excellent doctors, lawyers and accountants that I know personally do not advertise aggressively at all. You are not going to find their name by googling “the best lawyer/doctor/accountant in San Francisco”. Their websites do not have “Come to us” buttons all over them and flash videos about how they are the best in their industry. Instead, they are quite conservative and simple. Those professionals’ exceptional service, attention to their clients, and great results speak for themselves, and these are their main channels of promoting their business.

It is obvious that Roosh is well aware of this. That’s why his ways of promoting his material are so mild and subtle. He has a section on his website dedicated to books, but he doesn’t spend any time or space on his website on praising how great these books are. He lets his readers discuss his books in the forum. He doesn’t post a bunch of (fake) testimonials, and he certainly doesn’t include a link to his books in every blog posting, like so many others would do and actually do.

Roosh hopes and succeeds at attracting people to his material through his thought-provoking and economical writing that everyone has access to for free. If you find what he writes to be interesting, entertaining or both, even if you disgree with half of what he says or find his views to be way too extreme, you will still be very curious to read his books, because you know that at least 20% of what you would find in those books will be the kind of honesty you can’t find anywhere else, and no one else out there will have the balls to put on the paper, even if they thought exactly the same way.

The message to all of us is clear and simple: it’s much better to impress your target audience with your skills and knowledge, and wait for them to come up to you and say “Thank you. Can I have your card?”, rather than shove your business card in their face as soon as you meet them.

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34 thoughts on “Does Your Marketing Strategy Suck?”

  1. In an age where Marketing is dominating almost all communication you receive it is shocking how bad most strategies are.
    It’s no different than walking down a tourist shopping area in some country and getting harassed non-stop to buy some crappy t-shirt. I will go out of my way to buy from the vendor who isn’t in my face and allows me to browse and form my own conclusion.
    Recently I was in the market to hire an SEO company to help drive traffic to the website of one of my business. I had mistakenly reached out to a company that seemed legit but from their aggressive emails urging me to “buy buy buy” I knew they were anything but.
    I was literally contacted 6 times in 10 days by them. I had told them I was not going to be making a decision any time soon and that I would be in touch. The very next day they would reach out again. Mind you, this wasn’t even a mass email, they had literally tailored each communication towards me asking if I was ready to make a decision.
    This continued for several days until finally I felt compelled to lash out and explain that I would have gone with them if it were not for their ultra aggressive communication strategy that showed they did not listen to me. If they couldn’t read my emails and listen to me, how could they possibly serve me as a client? Unreal.

    1. Most ‘sales, account exec training, etc.” teach this as well. To be a hunter and to ‘stay on top of clients’. I’m not in sales, but in an office I once worked in, there are a ton of account execs that are being trained to borderline harass clients to pressure them into signing. The company wonders why they had insane turnover (no clients ever signed, employee’s got angry, quit)

  2. There’s a sweet spot between maintaining authenticity and expanding your empire. If you don’t promote at all then the steady trickle will always remain that. If you over promote you’re accused of being a sell out.
    ultimately its what your goals are and how you define yourself rather than any one specific method.
    Look up the P.T barnum sections on 48 laws of power. he was an ass, but a loveable one. so he succeeded more often than not.
    Look at the 50th law, 50 cent was a dick to his fellow dealers when he was undercutting them but he did that to place himself ahead and get market position. He transitioned this mentality into music and grew massive success out of it. Now he doesnt care much about the music and is transitioning his brand into other more lucrative areas. He always makes a point to maintain a social connection and network with his fans, help ensuring his core userbase/fanbase remains the same, while expanding his empire. I dont even fucking like the guy, but i can respect his methods.
    I prefer a mix of 1000 true fans theory [carving out a stable of people that will continue and always to buy your products] with a mixture of aggressive expansion. [better to be divisive and a hit than generalist and mediocre and sink]
    someone once told me that those stupid nigerian chain letters and scams were misspelled for a reason. they filter out all the sensible people and only keep the suckers. the suckers is precisely what they want to prey on

  3. This is true on sooooo many levels. I refuse to ever go to Progressive insurance because iHeartradio is bombarded with adds for it. I’ve stopped using Pandora altogether because of their mass adds and the first day Facebook pushes video ads i will drop that as well. I don’t have cable because I hate commercials. Comcast calls me everyday so if I ever decide i want more than antenna I will go with a different company. The two cars i have bought were from salespeople who said here’s the keys let me know if you need any help.
    The more I am pushed the more I will say f-you back.
    also agree with the Roosh books comment. I read Bang and Day Bang because they were cheap and interesting. I refuse to ever read “The System” by Doc Love because he only gives partial answers in his articles and then immediately reverts like a beta begging for people to buy his book.

    1. I get 6 thick mailings from CitiBank, Bank of America, and American Express per week. Not to mention AARP. The fact that I have to dispose of this huge volume of junk paper means I will never do business with them. It is a personal identity security hole to have credit forms already filled out with your name and address.

        1. also for any redcoats google telephone preference service and mail preference service [gets rid of junk offers and telemarketing]

  4. There is a fine line between being pushy and doing what it takes to find business. I have been reading Stephen Shippman’s “Cold Call Techniques That Really Work”, which presents a good formula for cold contacts and marketing. Developing a good cold-call script and coupling with a website or blog hiliting some of my work should help make a few sales. It’s tough to make industry contacts and sell your work but one has to do it to survive. Publishing in some form establishes expertise; the web makes it easy to put something together.

      1. Shippman’s books are pretty good, though geared towards high-volume selling. I only have maybe a couple dozen possible contacts in my industry. When I developed a script using his template I was able to focus my message clearly.
        Another book that helped was “The Complete Book of Perfect Phrases for High-Performing Sales Professionals”, which had good templates on how to craft your message to different types, such as “CEO With Engineering Background”. Pointed out what NOT to say to different people in the organization.

  5. This article seems suspiciously like a “Go buy Roosh’s books” marketing ploy.
    Very subtle.

  6. This aggressive marketing seems to be taking over retail sales over the past couple of years. It used to be just Circuit City, where you couldn’t walk 20 feet or spend more than 60 seconds at a stretch without a perky salesperson coming to help you.
    CC went belly-up and their salespeople apparently found jobs at Best Buy, which started doing the same thing. About a year and a half ago this trend infected Home Depot and Lowe’s. They pay no attention whatsoever to whether you look confused or lost or appear to need help, they just barge in, with the apparent purpose of taking you by the hand, leading you to what they think you need, and then draggin you to the checkout to guarantee the sale. Home improvement stores are for men like shoe stores for women or toy stores for kids: we want to browse around and daydream a little, it’s not about robotically finding one specific item, purchasing it, and leaving.
    One of my local Barnes & Noble stores has started doing this, too. Reading selections are a matter of often unpredictable personal taste, but now you can’t even browse the offerings *in a bookstore* without constant “helpful” interruption and hard-selling.

  7. The pushy marketing strategy pretty closely resembles what I encounter when women past their prime try convincing me they are relationship material.

  8. The most effective marketing model I’ve come across is giving away free, valuable content. When I first came across Roosh a few years ago I probably read a hundred of his articles. I ended up buying Bang through PayPal and getting a hold on my account since I was out of the country. I ended up using another credit card, just because I knew the info was valuable. I’ve gotten something out of every book he’s written, even if I don’t have plans to visit the country he writes about.
    Another guy who’s great at this is Pat Flynn with his blog on passive income. He just recently released his first book and video product, so it was natural to want to buy them, given all of the valuable info he’s provided without ever selling anything. He makes $50k+ per month, mostly through affiliate marketing, based on the trust he’s gained over the years.
    When’s the last time a dentist gave you a free teeth cleaning? Or an insurance company covered your first month’s bill? In Warsaw, Poland there is a small industry of people handing out advertising leaflets that all end up directly in the closest trash can. The one effective form of marketing was some of the coffee chains giving out free cups of coffee on winter days and handing people a card for a free drink on their 9th stamped purchase, with one already stamped.

  9. Ironically, I find this article patronising with its blantant “sucking of cock” apprasial of Roosh (no offense roosh, but it seriously does). And, ironically, I have even less intention of reading one of his books after that cock-fest. Good job, decomposer917.

    1. But you having “even less” interest means that you likely weren’t going to read it in the first place, then. Working as intended!

  10. Don’t they use these pushy strategies because they ultimately do work? I know I would never take the time to sign up for a dental cleaning where it not for the emails/mails. And isn’t this the same thing as the “approach, approach, approach and escalate, escalate, escalate” maxim we see on every game blog/book ever?

    1. We “approach, approach, approach” ONLY in conjunction with our passive game, which is analogous to attracting the people you attract and having a decent product. You can only market as aggressively as what you have deserves. You should be focused on increasing both your marketing by quantity and quality, leaving little discrepancy between the quality of either. That is the most efficient, whether in business or pleasure.

      1. Approach, approach, approach is only step one to get you to overcome your fear. Get further into game and you learn to spot who to approach and how to approach to minimise failure. This is not the same as blanket marketing.

  11. While it may piss you, an educated consumer, decomposer917, from what I’ve learned working in sales, they don’t really care the fact that YOU think their marketing strategy sucks.
    With 7 billion people in the planet, it really is a numbers game. Mass marketing doesn’t even EXPECT to attract EVERYONE – if it wasn’t working, they would change up the strategy let me *assure* you that.
    A buddy of mine worked for an ad revenue company that marketed primarily on Facebook. When he told me their response rate was somewhere between 1-2%, I scoffed. How is that even worthwhile? Well that 2% actually keeps the business afloat and (hopefully) profitable.
    ps: assuming the Dentist is the one you go to anyway, I don’t see why making calls to remind you to get your teeth cleaned is a bad thing – really you’re doing it for you and your pearly whites (and to stuff their pockets).

    1. This.
      The ad for the lawyer seems idiotic and pushy until you have been wronged and don’t know of a lawyer already.
      This marketing is done because it works. Roosh’s marketing is done in a particular way because that also works.
      Horses for courses.

  12. That’s why I ended up buying Bang: I just read the blog enough and eventually wanted more. I do appreciate how Roosh doesn’t push it too much. And his blog archives have plenty of great stuff for free.

  13. “As I got home, I had a voicemessage from a dentist on my voicemail reminding me that I am due for teeth cleaning. This is the fourth reminder over the past 2 months.”
    I have had this same experience in the States. Dentists have become as annoying as credit card companies who want to sell you shit.

  14. “Those professionals’ exceptional service, attention to their clients,
    and great results speak for themselves, and these are their main
    channels of promoting their business.”
    Unfortunately it doesn’t, and it isn’t. In this day and age, I’m sad to say that advertising is everything. These aggressive marketing strategies that make zero rational sense actually do work, because human beings are not rational.
    The message and strategies are far less important than actually getting your name out there and talked about. You brought up the doctor example. You just have to look at the many celebrity doctors who are always fully booked and who charge exorbitant prices when they are actually quite mediocre in what they do.

  15. I was wondering what you guys might think of this strategy which I’m about to implement myself. I won’t attach links or anything because I’m not trying to spam, but for a Kickstarter campaign that is almost ready to go for an overhaul of an iOS game that I released in January, I recruited a heavy metal band with a relatively large established fan base to agree to do an exclusive song for the game, provided we meet the pledge goals.
    This way not only can we appeal to their fanbase, but we can write to other sources that might take interest, aka music blogs and metal blogs because it makes the band look like hotter shit when we approach.
    I was going to offer their exclusive song within the £1 package as well as having their name listed in the credits of the new game.
    From a fresh perspective do you think there’s anything I’m missing before I go ahead and launch this badboy?

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