Shady Marketing Tactics – What they will Cost you and your Business or Learning to Market Responsibly.

Jan 16


James R. Sanders

James R. Sanders

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Don’t you just hate writers, or at least the ones that write up articles ... a problem then pitching you ... to help you solve your problems for $49.95? The writing industry has taken


Don’t you just hate writers,Shady Marketing Tactics – What they will Cost you and your Business or Learning to Market Responsibly. Articles or at least the ones that write
up articles identifying a problem then pitching you
information to help you solve your problems for $49.95? The
writing industry has taken a turn where everyone who has
something to sell can write an article, submit it to an
online venue, and wait for us to read it or download it and
see if we’ll buy their products or services. Don’t you just
hate it when you spend your time looking for the information
only to find that you have to make a further investment
before you can get the actual answers to your problem?
You’ve already spent countless hours looking for it, and now
you have to make a monetary investment to boot. Is it a
practice you’ve come to accept, expect, and chalk it up to
the costs of running a business, or are you forever turned
away from that writer because of their approach? Would you
rather have the information up-front telling you that you’ll
need to make a purchase to actually get your questions
answered or do you just expect you’ll have to make a
purchase as the norm?

Don’t get me wrong, even in such material; there is still
valuable information to be found. These articles work great
for readers looking for a paid solution or a quick fix, but
they do little for the “do it yourselfers” who are looking
for the "hows" to answer the question and fix the problem
themselves. Then there is the time investment problem where
you have to sometimes spend large amounts of time digging
for the valuable information, sorting out the hype, and
tossing away the chaff. The bottom line is that marketing
has gotten harder on the internet because of the ways that
marketers have conditioned surfers over time. Think back to
the earlier days when banner ads were affective. Today,
banner ads have taken a downward spiral where effectiveness
has dwindled to the point of almost zero. Think about your
own surfing habits. What do you usually tend to do when you
come across a banner ad? Do you even notice them on web site
pages anymore?

Full Page Ads and Time Limited Offers.

The latest craze seems to be building long page
advertisement pitches engaging the visitor’s emotions and
providing them with mountains of testimonials to convince
them to purchase the product or service. Isn’t it ironic how
most of them started out in debt, no money in the bank,
house in foreclosure, and after finding this secret suddenly
bought their dream home, quit their day job, and drive their
favorite expensive sports or luxury car, and accomplished
this amazing feat in just a couple months? These stories
have variations, but the theme is always the same. Although
I have no SOLID proof to offer, I’d tend to believe that
many of these “guru’s” found a way to prey on people’s
dreams. They put together some information that sounded
good, figured out how to market it, and since almost
everyone always dreams of more money, they pitched their
idea to people and made armored carloads of money. The point
here is that they made their fortunes off SELLING the idea
and NOT actually by DOING the idea. They all use the idea of
a time-limited offer too. The problem with time limited
offers on the internet is that if they do not use a tracking
cookie, or if they don’t require you to sign up to the site
for a membership, there is no way for them to track that
time sensitive offer. To prove my point, take any particular
pitch you see, bookmark the page, and then go back in a
couple days. You’ll more than likely find that you get the
same time sensitive offer and you didn’t miss anything. If
that doesn’t work, then clear your internet cache in your
browser and repeat the same process. You’ll then understand
what I’m talking about. You’re being duped, and they play on
that emotion to entice you to make a purchase. When I see
one of these anymore, if the product or service appeals to
me, I IMMEDIATELY scroll to the bottom to see how much it
costs. If it’s within my budget, then I MIGHT scroll back up
and read the page, but if not, then I close the window.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that at least SOME of them
have been broke, in foreclosure, no bank account, etc, but
ALL of them? There are literally THOUSANDS of them out
there. What about ones that were just broke and had no bank
accounts? Nevertheless, just about every one of those
full-page articles tells the same story. Just switch around
the job they used to do, the style of home they bought, and
the type of car they now drive, and they are all variations
on a theme. I am also sure that SOME of them are legitimate,
but try to pick out the legitimate from the fakes and you’ll
have a tough time of it. Then there are those that tell the
half-truths. When I speak of half-truths, I am talking about
either those that had credit to take out a rather large loan
to market their business idea, or those that had friends to
borrow the money from or relatives to give it to them. They
never seem to tell you about the investments they needed to
make in order to make the idea work, just the fact that they
make thousands of dollars a month and have everything they
want in life. They also fail to tell you how much they were
making when they started out. Kind of convenient isn’t it.
What sense does it make to purchase that information when
you don’t know if you have the extra funds needed to make it
work? Sure, I could sell you an information article on how
to make millions waxing turtles. But if it required you to
live in Hawaii and was going to cost you $5,000.00 in
advertisements to get it going to make those thousands of
dollars a month, then what good would that information do
you if you didn’t live in Hawaii and didn’t have $5,000.00
in the bank? If you didn’t know that extra information, then
you might buy the information, waste money, and never do
anything with the information. That’s exactly what hundreds
of thousands and possibly millions of people are doing.
They’re buying this information that they might never be
able to use, and are loosing hard earned money in the
process. Are you getting the idea yet?

Where Past Marketing Practices Effect Present and Future
Marketing Results.

You see, thanks to the other marketers that have come before
you, just as those to come will look back at you in future,
we pave the road for the marketers tomorrow. Using shady
promotion tactics will continue to make the future of
marketing harder and harder. It’s conditioning, and just
like Pavlov’s dog’s were made to salivate through the
ringing of a bell, internet surfers are getting fed up with
the shady marketing tactics and learning to IGNORE them.
Take for instance the value of contextual links used to
promote an affiliate program. When marketers first started
using this tactic, their affiliate program owners received
allot of traffic, and the marketer made a tidy sum of cash.
The problem was that most marketers, in their greed for the
almighty dollar, failed to do the proper research into a
company before they chose to promote it. They were so
hurried to post program links to make the money that they
just didn’t bother with the research. Just making sure the
program pays it’s promoters promptly and on time is only
ensuring half the battle. It’s just great that you make sure
you are paid, but what about the visitor that trusted you to
click that link. You know the visitor that was DEPENDING on
you to give them reputable information. What happens when
they have a bad experience with the affiliate program owners
or are ripped off? I’ll tell you what happens. Marketing
gets even harder for YOU because your visitors loose their
faith and trust in you. Sure, you can make a thousand
dollars a month for a while, but if your visitors have
problems with the links you send them to, then eventually
you are going to loose income. Not only will you loose the
income, but you will also loose reputation and traffic to
the point that there will no longer be visitors to send off
to those links you promote.

The sad part of the situation is that those types of
marketers are either just misguided or greedy. There’s so
much information out there on marketing, and a great deal of
it seems to focus on making the sales at all costs. What
happened to maintaining integrity to ensure your business
future for the long haul? The days of the firm handshake to
seal a deal are long since gone, but has integrity died
along the wayside too? What happens when the shady marketing
tactics continue to dry up the once abundant marketing
pockets and it continues to become tougher and tougher to
make sales? Are we that greedy to squander the pockets so
there is none left for future marketing generations? Is it
really worth the costs when your business integrity suffers
in the end?

Better Marketing Principles – Honesty and Integrity and
Ways they Promote Visitor Trust.

It’s all about honesty, integrity, and trust. If you can
instill those emotions for your business within the
consumer’s mind, and do so in an honest manner, then you are
going to be successful for a long time to come. Like that
old adage goes “You’ll catch more flies with honey than you
will with vinegar”. Time will always bring out a lack of
integrity if one exists, just as true colors also tend to
show over time. No matter what you do, if you are not
sincere then in the end, it will be revealed and your
business will suffer. The bait and switch is an overused
marketing tactic that is loosing it’s effectiveness. Any
marketing practice that is questionable or similar to that
tactic is like the vinegar mentioned earlier. The “honey” is
things like researching your links to make sure your visitor
is going to be happy with the products you suggest. It’s
letting them know that the link might require an investment,
or letting them know some personal, honest experience with
the link product or service that you have experienced.
Sincerity and honesty will build trust, and building trust
is not something that happens overnight. Far too many people
have been burned on the internet. It is a time investment to
overcome those bad experiences and turn a visitor around.
Prevention is better than scrambling to fix a problem once
it’s happened.

Meta Tag Scams and Other Shady Web Page Design

Another marketing tactic gone south is the keyword meta tag
and the other various meta tags used in a web site page
design. Shady marketers have abused even those tags. I
remember back when Britney Spears was the craze and their
were all kinds of searches being done at the search engines
for Britney Spears. A few dubious marketers decided to add
“Britney Spears” to meta tags and wound up getting top page
rankings in the search engine reports for the search term
“Britney Spears”. The problem, most of those pages had
nothing to do with Britney Spears or her music to begin
with. That didn’t last long as Google and all the other
search engines scrambled quickly to change their algorithms
to keep the shady marketers from manipulating their results.
We all paid for it in the end. Web sites that were once
ranked highly either found themselves out of the rankings or
dropped drastically in rank. Another old adage comes to mind
“It’s the one that spoils it for the rest of us”.

Speaking of the search engine ranking stuff, another craze
was long paragraphs of repeating keyword phrases and text
using the page color to hide it, used as a means to
manipulate search engine ranking. The results are the same
as the Britney Spears meta tag scam. Marketing is definitely
an area where the actions of others will come back to bite
you in the backside in the end. If you don’t watch whom you
link to, then you can be “guilty by association”. That
brings to mind the link farms that used to enjoy high
ranking in the search engines. These worthless sites
composed of nothing but a bunch of links to other sites and
created specifically to boost the listed sites ranking are
another shady marketing practice that has fallen by the
wayside. And the list continues to go on and on. Some just
look at these ideas as valid marketing tactics that worked,
and to a degree, I’d have to agree with them, but they
worked at what price? How many visitors were forever turned
off by questionable marketing tactics? How many visitors
lost substantial amounts of money in the process? How much
money will future marketers need to spend to undo the
negative results past marketers have caused for the
marketing industry? The damage remains to be seen, but
little by little, once tried and true marketing ideas are
becoming less and less effective. Do I want to make a buck?
Sure I do, but NOT at the expense of my company’s integrity
nor at the expense of my visitors, nor at the expense of
future marketing generations to come.

Better Marketing Practices – How They’ll pay off and who
they Benefit.

All this brings me to the predominant point of this article.
There are a few actually. The first and foremost is learning
to think about your marketing tactics before you just
implement things that could be labeled as shady. The best
relationship you can build with your potential visitors is
trust. This is a long and involved process but offers
long-term payoffs that are well worth the work investment.
Taking the quick or easy route will always cause you to miss
something that will prevent you from forming that bond with
your visitors. With the mass of circuits, tubes, and chips
sitting before you, it’s sometimes hard to remember that
your actions are affecting other human beings with some of
the same hopes and desires that you have. Remember that you
are interacting with them and helping them to meet those
hopes and dreams. If you had the same hope or dream you are
offering them, would you want to be treated the way that you
are treating them? It’s the golden rule personified. Learn
to practice ethical marketing concepts that protect your
visitors while building trust and integrity. Once you
accomplish that, there is nothing on earth that can prevent
your self-employment dreams. Until next article, be good to
one another. Give your visitors the safety and protection
they need, and you will benefit in the end.