It began when I received a message to my LinkedIn inbox. I don’t want to disclose any names here, so we’ll call the person JD (Jane Doe).
It started innocently enough. JD had taken notice of the fact that I run my own business. She wanted to “connect with like-minded people” and was curious about what type of marketing I do to promote it.
Naturally I was excited to connect with someone new. I responded with a laundry list of things that I do and mentioned that I do have social media accounts, but they are not a main priority.
JD’s response almost floored me. Here it is verbatim: “Social media is huge. Its the number 1 way to market. Why don’t you use it?”
The Problem with Marketers
You may think that “floored” might be an exaggeration here. But it’s not. I didn’t literally end up on the floor, but I was left very unhappy, almost angered.
The number 1 way to market? Really?
To whom? What am I marketing? Who am I trying to connect with? What am I trying to sell? What are my goals?
How can someone who hasn’t spoken to me about what I am trying to accomplish with my business blindly tell me that social media is the #1 way to market?
And what does “#1 way to market” even mean?
You see, I don’t believe in generalities. Even if something works for 99.9% of businesses, I don’t want someone telling me that its right for me without talking to me about needs first. And if someone tries to do the same thing to you – you should run the other way…fast.
Heck, I even wrote an article about why you should ignore social media!
The Madness Continues…
I knew exactly where this conversation was going to go. JD was going to try and pitch her social media consulting to me. But I didn’t want it.
Being stubborn, I decided to probe further. I asked what “#1 way to market” really means and told her I disagree with the notion. The fact is, marketing methods depend on each business’ unique situation.
To claim that anything is the “#1 way to market” is to essentially call every business identical. (Tweet This).
To my surprise JD’s counterargument included a statistic. I like statistics. They often lie. But I still like them.
“[...]89% of business are on a social media platform. It doesn’t matter what you product, service or idea is social media is the leading source for marketing in todays eco. ”
I’m often shocked at how many businesses don’t even have a website in today’s day and age. And websites are far more established than social media. They’ve been around ages compared to social media.
There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics. But this is just ridiculous. The only thing that 89% of all businesses do is try to make money (and even then I’m not so sure ).
And what’s more…apparently it doesn’t matter what your product or service is! I can tell you one thing for sure. If you’re trying to market to my grandmother, you have no business doing anything on a computer (much less social media).
You Are Being Lied To…
The reason that this interaction bothered me is that it gives all marketers a bad name. Social media may not be right for you. And if you are convinced by extreme statistics to try it, and it doesn’t work, you are probably going to stay away from working with another marketing consultant.
I know I’d be weary. Bad experiences condition us to be more cautious.
And that’s a shame. Because there are plenty of people that can actually help you. Like my friend Dov Gordon, or Danny Iny. Or even me .
Picking the Right Tool
While I focus a lot on content marketing on this blog, I’m not going to make the claim that it’s necessarily right for you. It’s not the only form of marketing I use either – it’s just the focus of this blog.
I’ve mentioned here before that it is a tool; a method.
But before you pick your tools you have to evaluate your situation so that you can pick the right ones. Jumping aboard the social media train because someone blindly tells you its right for you won’t do you much good (unless you get lucky).
If you’re still looking for the right tool, feel free to contact me. If you do, I promise to do the following…
- I won’t blindly tell you that a tool is right for you (yes, even content marketing)
- I won’t throw any statistics in your face
- If I feel that I am incapable of helping you, I will do my best to point you in the direction of someone who can.
Am I over-reacting and taking this to heart? Or am I right to feel this way?
Have you had a bad experience with bad marketers before? If so, how did it effect your future interaction with consultants?