Marketing is, unfortunately, an area of business that has trust issues. More specifically, people don’t trust marketers.
There are three reasons business owners distrust marketers. The first reason rests squarely on the shoulders of marketers. The second is a consequence of the explosion of technology, and the third culprit is a human psychological quirk that just about everyone falls prey to.
Advertisers Have Historically Been Shady
First, marketing is associated with advertising, which has a reputation for being pretty dodgy. Here are the top lies advertisers thrust on the public in the last hundred years. (My personal favorite: Rice Crispies will save your children from swine flu.) It’s a checkered history that has resulted in a well-earned distrust of advertisers. Unfortunately, marketers are deemed guilty by association.
Marketing & Communications Technology Has Exploded
Second, marketing is confusing. Consider that there are over 7,000 marketing technology platforms, and thousands of social media, TV, audio channels, and other digital publishing sites available. Thirty years ago, there were three broadcast channels–print, radio, and TV. It was so much easier for a business owner to make marketing decisions then.
Today, the average business owner doesn’t have time to sort through all the options and typically, their understanding of all the fragments is limited so they have to hope that whatever a marketing vendor is telling them is true. Having less knowledge of all the marketing technology available creates more avenues for distrust of the industry as a whole.
Humans Want The Quickest Route to Comfort
Third, our brains are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. A business with anemic sales is painful. So, understandably, when a myopic marketing vendor tells a business owner that their whozeewhat’s marketing program is going to be the solution to their pain, the business owner will often jump on it despite fully understanding why they are in this situation in the first place. Their desire to avoid pain assures them that this shiny object will make the company’s profits soar, their leads multiply, and their sales pipeline overflow with prospects. It’s easy to understand why business owners are taken in by this. If you’re in pain, you want the quickest, easiest solution.
We want things to be easy. We want to believe we’ll win the lottery, that lightning never strikes the same place twice, and that if you build it, they will come. In her book, LieSpotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, Pamela Meyer asserts that lying takes two people. The liar must have someone who will believe their lie for it to work. Often, even when evidence contradicts the lie, the recipient will still choose to believe it. Why? Because overworked business owners are human, underinformed about marketing, and want the quickest means to stop the pain.
Any business owner who has bought the quick marketing solution and learned later that it didn’t live up to its claims feels the sting of lost time and money. If you have, you’re ready for the truth about marketing. Great marketing is not quick, easy or cheap. Our white paper, What Every CEO Needs To Know About Marketing distills the truth about marketing your business into six easy-to-understand tenants. Read it, and you will have the knowledge to never be taken in by a marketer’s glossy promises again.