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21 Things I Don’t Like About Marketing

October 25th, 2012 by Bob Bly

Here are 21 things I don’t like about modern marketing:

 1—Telemarketing calls from a robot.

 2—Telemarketing calls from a telemarketer.

 3—A direct mailer that is a challenge just to open.

 4—Freelance writers who call themselves “content strategists.”

 5—Having to make a separate version of web sites and e-mails for smart phones.

 6—Ads that allow you to respond only by scanning a QR code and have no phone number or other response mechanism.

 7—People whom I don’t even know inviting me to be their Facebook friend.

 8—Online videos or audios that start as soon as you open a web page without giving me the option of choosing whether I want to view or hear it.

 9—TV commercials from local business owners with the production values of a bad elementary school play.

 10—Hype-filled long-copy landing pages where the marketer brags endlessly about how rich and successful he is.

 11—Marketers who offer free tapes or other freebies in their advertising and then don’t send them — because they are doing a bait and switch.

 12—Print ads with type that is 10 point or smaller.

 13—Print ads and web sites with type that is approximately the same color as the background.

 14—Body copy in reverse type (white on a black or other dark background).

 15—Dynamic web copy that rotates before you have a chance to read it.

 16—Branding consultants who advise clients that long copy doesn’t work.

 17—Social media consultants who act as if social networking is the most powerful marketing medium in the world.

 18—Graphic designers who think the design is more important than the words.

 19—Marketers who don’t have an offer in their marketing.

 20—Marketers who don’t have a USP in their marketing.

 21—Marketers who haven’t read Hopkins, Caples, Ogilvy, Collier, Schwab, Sackheim, or Reeves – and in fact have never heard of them. Yikes!



This entry was posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 11:03 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

94 responses about “21 Things I Don’t Like About Marketing”

  1. Mark@ Make Them Click said:

    Amen to all that.

  2. Kent said:

    I have to say that those you listed above just make the marketing world even more complicated. 🙂

  3. Diana Schneidman said:

    I agree with the whole list (except maybe the last one–frankly, I don’t know everyone listed in #21 but I’ll look into those I don’t recognize).

    My “favorite” is #1: telemarketing calls from a robot. I cannot imagine why someone would stay on the phone with a robot.


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  5. Kevin Carlton said:

    My list would be pretty similar.

    However, one thing I also really can’t be doing with is the self-proclaimed ‘leading marketing expert (with xxx years of experience)’.

    I’ll decide for myself whether someone is a marketing expert based on what they say and what they do NOT because they say so.

    As for the xxx years of experience. This is usually fine by me, except when it’s used in isolation as virtually the only selling point.

    For all I care, someone with 10 years’ experience could’ve been churning out nothing but rubbish for 10 years.

  6. Larry Czaplyski said:

    How about web pages that won’t let you leave?

    And, as an aside, I can imagine a female robot voice that I would like to listen to: a nice Tennessean drawl.

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