Six greatest marketing lies


  • Moving to an era of too much data has removed many marketers from their audience and see them as a “segment.”
  • Branding is overrated for a lot of products.
  • Social media marketing is bullshit, but brands need to listen on social media.
  • No, you don’t need to grow your brand if sales are steady. Instead, focus on operational cost savings.

It’s interesting to read what people think marketing is via comments on #marketing Twitter. Some are good, but too many are just pure bullshit. It’s ironic that as we have more data than ever on consumers, it has removed us farther away from them. Here is my list of, what I see, are the five greatest marketing lies.

1ne: People buy our product because of our branding. Marketers love to believe this one but the reality is that today 99.9% of products in the grocery aisle are chosen because of price and shelf position. On the flip side, there is a lot of brand loyalty for hard goods like bikes, electronics, and cars. Brand equity has to be earned every day with every customer and is easy to piss away.

2wo: Social media marketing is essential to our brand. Pure Facebook garbage. People are addicted to Facebook, but that is not permission to stalk them on social media. Brands need social media to listen and answer consumers’ issues and questions but not to push ads. There is a serious disconnect between social media “marketing” and sales.

3hree: Content marketing is essential. Again, yes and no. For prescription drugs, yes, for pasta sauce or frozen pizza, no. People don’t read content; they skim. The idea that consumers want to read your content indicates that too many marketers don’t understand their audience.

5ive: Big data is essential—another canard. The essential data to your brand is knowing your customers and prospects and understanding their purchase decisions which often tend to be illogical. One of the best research methods is to get out of the office and watch people as they shop.

6ix: We need to grow our brand. Really? For who? What if you could sell your product steadily and increase profits by focusing on operational efficiencies? The pandemic showed us that supply issues are a huge challenge, but not too many companies focus on shortening supply issues. Brands want to grow to please investors.

Marketing has become too complicated because MBAs have tried to turn it into a science. Listen to your customers, show them you care, and be consistent with rewarding loyal customers.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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