The Top 5 Marketing Myths and The Truth Behind Them

This one will probably get me into trouble.

I’ve worked as a marketing consultant for over four years and I’m not supposed to say this stuff. After all, it’s my job to increase customers and maximize profits. To wave my magic marketing wand and take your marketing to a whole new level.

The truth is the path to marketing success is deep in the jungle with decoys and traps camouflaged as time-honored clichés, old adages, commonly accepted clichés or words-of-wisdom. But if you’re reading this post, you’re about to obtain the ability to distinguish the facts from the fables.

There are all sorts of marketing myths that should be buried with the bones of dinosaurs. They may be enjoyable to read, but they are poisonous to any marketing campaign. Heaven help us, there are hundreds of these poisonous marketing myths spreading like the flu, but on this post today we’ll deal only with the top five because incorporating all of them would probably crash your server and leave you laughing in disbelief.

Marketing Myth #1: Marketing is most successful if it’s memorable.

Truth: Marketing is only successful if it moves your product or service at a profit. Memorability has nothing to do with it. Whether people remember it or not has nothing to do with successful marketing. Studies continue to confirm that there is no relationship between remembering your marketing and buying your offering. All that matters is if prospects are motivated to take action. So don’t aim for memorability as much as desirability because that leads to profitability.

Marketing Myth #2: Bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

Truth: This old adage is false. Bad publicity is bad for your business. No publicity is a lot healthier for you. As human-being we just love to communicate—gossip, especially about businesses that have done something so disgusting, gruesome, horrendous,  or distasteful that the media exposes it. Do love publicity but avoid bad publicity because it spreads faster than the flu.

Marketing Myth #3: Marketing should entertain and charm.

Truth: Entertainers should entertain and charm. But marketing should sell your product or service. This widespread marketing myth is based upon studies that show people like marketing that entertains. They may like it but they sure don’t respond to it. Alas, the marketing community nurtures this myth by presenting awards based upon glitz and glamour, humor and originality, special effects and killer jingles. Those awards should be given for profit increases and nothing else. The only thing that should shine should be your bottom line.

Marketing Myth #4: The best and almost great marketing works instantly.

Truth: First-rate sales work instantly. Great limited-time offers work instantly. But great marketing is not made up of sales and limited-time offers alone. These will attract customers, but they won’t be loyal and they’ll be won by whoever offers the lowest price. Great marketing is made up of creating a desire for your offering in the minds of qualified prospects, then peppering your offers with sales and limited-time offers. But a program of fast-buck marketing usually leads to oblivion. The best marketing in America took a long time to establish itself. Just ask the Mr.Clean man. Or the Snuggle bear. Or that lonely Mac Tools associate. None of that marketing worked instantly, but it has worked for decades and still does.

Marketing Myth #5: Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

Truth: Sell the solution. The easiest way to sell anything is to position it as the solution to a problem. If you look for the sizzle and not the problem, you’re looking in the wrong direction. Your prospects might appreciate the sizzle, but they’ll write a check for the solution. Your job is to spot the problem then offer your product or service as the solution. If you think solutions, you’ll market solutions. If you think sizzle, you’ll sell sizzle. You’ll find that the path of least resistance to the sale leads right through the problem to the solution.

 Question: Which marketing myth is your favorite and why?

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