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Category: marketing

Marketing Crossword #7

A more challenging puzzle.

Are you sure you'd want to be using these techniques?


Why Are MQLs and SQLs Even a Thing?

As the digital marketing train wreck grew over the last few years, it became more and more obvious that, for most companies, the investment was wasted. Most programs just produced junk leads.

So what did they do? They did what any good marketer would do:

They re-branded their junk as a "Marketing Qualified Lead".

Get it through your heads people: There is no such thing as a Marketing Qualified Lead. If Sales doesn't want it, it's junk.

With that out of the way, we can now talk about what you ought to be doing, and how to do it.


Buyer Liar

By now, everyone has heard about the so-called "study" proving that 57% of the buyer's decision is made before they ever engage with a sales rep.

The statistic has been used to justify spending billions of dollars on Inbound Marketing.

But did you know it's completely bogus?

It turns out that they never actually did a study - which I found out by talking to a secretary at the originating company. It was a made-up number from a casual conversation. But they threw it in their pitch deck, and it eventually went viral. And here we are.

But here's how you know it's nonsense:

If it were true, how would anyone ever sell something where the buyer hadn't previously been aware of their need????


Zombie Marketing

Does your company invest in Content Marketing?

Do you still believe Inbound Marketing works?

If so, welcome to the world of Zombie Marketing!

In the movies, Zombies are dead people who don't know they're dead. And they feast on the living until there's no one left in town to eat.

In Marketing, Zombies are Marketing Professionals who recommend techniques - like content marketing, LinkedIn marketing, email and Google Adwords - that simply don't work for most companies.

And they feast on your budget until there's no money left to spend.

And then they move on to their next gig.

But that's okay. Everyone's doing it, so it must be right.


Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Deciding on what promotional tactics to use before you've really worked out an effective marketing strategy is one of the leading causes of business failure.

We see it all the time: A business has a great idea for a new product or service. They invest in building it. And then they put together - often with the help of a so-called "marketing expert" - a plan to promote it.

And then it fails to get traction.

What happened?

Companies often become enamored with the latest-and-greatest marketing tool or technique. When they combine that with their enthusiasm for their product, they become blinded to the real challenges of the market: How to break through the clutter and get people's attention, how to stimulate their interest, and how to get prospects to actually want to talk to you. It's a recipe for disaster.

One thing is clear: A good marketing strategy isn't just a bunch of marketing tactics strung together. Developing the strategy comes first, and it often requires doing market research, and classic market planning. But it's a whole separate exercise. And it's often the critical step on the path to success.


Decisions, decisions

As a business owner you're faced with a virtual tsunami of marketing options. Everyone is selling the next big thing, the newest way to generate leads, or the one tool you absolutely need to grow your business.

Email marketing! Data mining! Pay-per-lead! AI! Content marketing! SEO!

"Just use our solution and the world will beat a path to your door", they scream.

Well, here's the reality: It's all nonsense, because none of it works - at least not for you.

When it comes to marketing, if you think that you need to be doing "X", you've already lost the battle.

And there are lots of names for it: Grasping at straws. Throwing a bunch of you-know-what against the wall and seeing what sticks. And "hope as a strategy" are just a few.

If you want to win the game, you have to start with the fundamentals. You have to work through your value proposition and your positioning, your targeting, and how to actually create awareness and stimulate interest with potential buyers.

Only then should you consider what tools you need.


Stupid Marketing Tricks: Email Edition

Back in the day, salespeople who were afraid to make cold calls, or who didn't know how to open one, would employ an excuse on their calls such as "I'm calling to follow up a letter I sent you..." - never actually having sent a letter. They did this as a way to make the call seem less cold.

And prospects were often dumb enough to fall for it, or too polite to challenge it. And so the prospect would apologize, and tell the salesperson that they didn't get the letter.

"Oh, sorry," the salesperson would say, "I guess it hasn't arrived yet," knowing full well that no letter was ever sent. "But as long as I have you on the phone, do you have a minute?"

And off they'd go...

Fast forward, and today lazy marketers don't even bother making the phone call. Instead, they send misleading emails, and hope someone is stupid enough to respond.

How many emails like these have you received:

• "I tried reaching you by phone, but apparently you were out."
• "I don't know if you got my voice mail, but I was hoping to catch you at your desk."
• "I'm following up my previous emails to see if you're still interested."

Setting aside that these things clog up your inbox, the real tragedy is that is that someone is actually paying for this.

Some poor business owner has bought into the drip email process, probably because he or she can't find salespeople who actually know how to sell. And, of course, email is cheap.

The problem is that, by the time this business owner finds out that it didn't work, they've blown half their year.

And their salespeople are on to their next jobs.



What is a MQL?

A Four-Letter Word. As if you couldn't tell by the picture!


Thirsty for Results?

Digital Marketing is the business equivalent of Kool-Aid. Do you know why?

No protein, no nutritional value, just a sugar high!


The Digital Marketing Scam!

There is more evidence for its existence than there is for the effectiveness of Digital Marketing. How does this impact you?

If you were to add up everything you spent for digital marketing, including personnel, what is your net cost per qualified sales lead? Still think you aren’t getting scammed?



Why did the Marketing VP cross the road?

To get to his next job.


Inbound Marketing is a Scam!

When are you going to accept that you can’t win the inbound marketing war? Why can't you win?

The game is rigged. Ask yourself, why are search results paginated???


There are those who can sell. Then those who can't, do marketing.

The problem isn’t that Marketing isn’t a legitimate function. So what is the problem then?

It’s that everyone is convinced that it’s not accountable for sales. How’s that working out?


Marketing and Sales 2021

It’s the epic battle between Marketing and Sales. MQLs vs SQLs! And guess who loses?

You do – because there’s no such thing as an MQL. It’s either worth the salesperson’s time, or it’s not.


Blog Post 335

Why did the Marketing Director cross the road?

To interview for another job.

It's no joke that the digital Marketing Director position that grew in prominence over the last decade has fallen on hard times. Most of the tools they use simply don't work. And so most end up jumping from company to company, just hoping to get lucky.

It's also because most of the tools available today don't work very long. Marketing today is an arms race; so if you can't tell the fools and the fool's gold, you might end up having to cross the road, too.


The "Burned Before" Series, Episode 8: Cheaping Out

We've seen many companies blow through their budgets on marketing programs that failed to deliver. And it's sad. But it happens mostly because there's so much nonsense out there.

Everyone tells you what you need to do - "Do SEO!" "You need Click Funnels!" "Stand on your head and squawk like a chicken!" - but the vendor never draws the link to revenues, so you never achieve your goals.

And then you're left with not enough money to do anything meaningful, and ask us to fix the problem on the cheap.

The fact is that successful marketing is hard to do. And all those "easy answers" are like cheap insurance. You can afford it, but it isn't going to be there when you need it.

The funny thing is that the hardest thing to do in marketing is to come up with a strategy that's actually going to work.

But are you willing to spend the $5,000 it's going to cost to do that? Doubtful.

But that's the reason you're getting burned. It's not your vendors' fault.


In-House vs Outsourced Marketing

Many companies wrestle with the question of whether they'd be better off hiring staff to do their marketing, or to outsource it.

Hiring arguably gives you more control, and it may save you some, but it limits your talent pool and flexibility. Outsourcing gives you a lot more options, but management can be tricky.

But neither of those arguments matter if your marketing plan isn't working.

You see, here's the thing. What really matters most in marketing is strategy. And that doesn't just mean picking a target market and a bunch of marketing mix elements. Strategic market planning is a science. And if you hire a Marketing Manager who doesn't understand it, you might as well just throw darts.

The reality is that if you hire people for a critical function like marketing, and they don't succeed, then they'll just go on to their next job - leaving you holding the bag.

That's why you should call At least we know the right things to do.


Liar, liar, pants on fire

Have you even gotten one of those pitches from a call center where they brag about the high number of dials they can make each day, and it sounds high but reasonable?

And then as icing on the cake they tell you that they can generate lots of great leads too, and it sounds even better?

Run the math, though, and you may find out you're about to get snockered.

Let's assume that it takes three minutes to dial someone - because you have to familiarize yourself with who they are and what they do. Otherwise, of course, it will sound like you're reading from a script, and they'll just hang up on you.

So that 100 dials/day will take about 300 minutes, or 5 hours - assuming no bathroom breaks.

Then ask yourself: If the caller actually gets someone on the line, how long do you think it will take for them to persuade a prospect to agree to a meeting? Ten minutes? (Ten if you're lucky, but probaby more like twenty. But let's run with ten.)

And how many of these ten minute conversations would the caller have to have to get one person to say yes? Five? (Again, five if you're lucky, but probably more like ten.)

So here's the math: Five appointments required 25 conversations, each of which took ten minutes (not counting the time it takes to write notes), for a total of 250 minutes. Add that to the five hours from before, and you have a 9 hour day.

Do you know what a "blivit" is?


Any Idiot Can Make Phone Calls

Desperate times call for desperate measures. That's why so many marketing firms are getting into the telemarketing business these days. It's also why so many companies use them.

And it's also why so many of these programs fail.

At we've offered professional B2B telemarketing and lead generation services for over 20 years, and so we know a thing or two about it. For example...

First, you can't just hand someone a script and a telephone and expect them to get past gatekeepers and voice mail.

Second, you can't put someone on the phone who doesn't know what they're doing and expect them to persuade a busy executive - someone who may be running a $50 million business - to grant an appointment.

And third, doing this wrong doesn't just waste money, it wastes time, and it can ruin your company's reputation. And if you think that opting for pay-per-lead is going to help, wait until you see the blowback from bogus appointments. Or worse, what it does to your bottom line.

But go ahead. Go with that vendor who says they can make 600 dials-per-hour and guarantee 47 qualified leads per day.

Then watch them make a monkey out of you.


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