There are a lot more than 5, but I’m going to try to restrain myself from going too far off the deep end with this. I think that you’ve all seen at least one of these things in action and in full display at some point in time.
- Lies. I hate it when marketers flat-out lie in their materials and their promotions. The “widget” you’re selling, is not the end all be all of whatever industry you’re in. I know this, because 3 months ago, you were selling me the previous version of that same widget as the “end all be all.” I’m sure that 3 months from now, you’re going to try to sell me the same widget again.
- False scarcity. Look, I understand that you have to create a sense of exclusivity for the thing you’re selling, but don’t lie to me about it. Don’t say that only a “select few” will “qualify” for whatever you’re selling. We all know, that all it takes is a credit card that will accept the amount of money that you’re charging in order for me to become a part of the “select, qualified few.” When you’re selling an electronic download, the supply is virtually infinite so don’t play that game.
- Over hype. Yes, I understand that you need to pump up your product to make it seem like the best thing since air, but seriously, c’mon? Do you really expect me to believe the phrase: “The greatest launch in internet marketing history?” What does that even mean? How do you quantify that?
- Ridiculous claims. Your product, is not going to make me a million dollars, ever. Don’t tell me that it will.
- Ridiculous up sells and cross sells. I know that you want to make more money, but do you really have to sell me a $97 product after I buy your $127 product and if I turn that down, why do you offer me your $47 product?
Is it possible to market a product without hype, without false scarcity, without lies and without ridiculous claims?
I think so.
Lots of companies sell lots of products without resorting to any of these techniques. Lots of companies sell what people want to buy, and do so without insulting their buyer’s intelligence.
Think about how companies like Zappos, Amazon, Google, and Apple sell their products.
I’m not saying these companies don’t “generate excitement” aka hype for their product offerings, because they do. What I’m saying is that none of these companies are blatantly unethical about how they market their products. If these companies were to claim their product had the “best launch in history”, I’m positive that they’ll have data to back up those claims.
Next time you see a product, specially a product in the internet marketing space, being touted with any of these words:
- “the best”
- “push button”
- “wealth generating”
- “make your dreams come true”
- “internet marketing lifestyle”
- “magic bullet”
Be very wary of that product, no matter who is promoting it.
photo by: Steven Depolo on flickr