THE BLOG

Why You Hate Digital Marketers

11/12/2014 05:35 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST

The next time you love talking to a digital marketer will probably be the first time you love talking to a digital marketer. They blabber more than Steve Urkel and act less than Mark Hamill after Star Wars. These are the idiotic things digital marketers say that drive the rest of the working world crazy.

"Content Is King" -- Really? Tell that to a toddler. Business owners know their potential customers go online to find answers to the questions people have. You don't think Gustavo Fring knows people in Albuquerque go online to research the best fried chicken places in town? The guy runs a chain of restaurants!

What Gus doesn't know is how to make sure Los Pollos Hermano's is an option when people go chicken-hunting. Giving him a lecture on where content sits in the digital marketing monarchy isn't going to help him sell more chicken tenders (or any of his non-legal offerings). Putting an offer on Yelp, or other places in Albuquerque people go to find good chicken, might. Digital marketers are too short on specifics and too long on generalizations.

"The way people buy your product is changing" -- It's not. People still use money to buy everything. Except on the playground. I think pog still works there (and probably has more value than bitcoins... definitely more value than Florida Panthers hockey tickets).

Digital marketers say the way people buy products has changed. Really? People have educated themselves about products and services to buy since the beginning of time (incidentally the last time the Oakland Raiders were relevant). Didn't your grandparents research products and listen to friends/experts before making decisions? Inbound marketing and content marketing aren't new either. Businesses used newspaper coupons, hosted radio talk shows and gave free seminars to generate leads before the web. Technology has changed the amount of knowledge, customers and competitors. Not the buying cycle.

"A website visitor is just as valuable as the one in the office/store" -- Said no one that has ever made any money. The only time a business' website visitor gets more attention than an in-person visitor is if that website visitor is a hacker and the business is Amazon.

Think about the in-person visitor's back story. They define a need for a product, research it and find out you have it (all online and without involving you). Then, they take time out of their busy Netflix schedule to visit. They've gone through the entire buying-cycle and ended up at your store/office. You're marketing wins when people show up. How many times do you visit a restaurant, go inside and then walk out without buying anything? Same rules apply for B2B sales and big-ticket items (like cars). A B2B service/product company may get 20,000 visits a month to their website, whitepaper, or webinar, but only 10 meetings with potential customers (call, Gotomeeting or face-to-face). Who gets more attention? Do you serve refreshments to your website visitors like you do your in-person visitors?

"You really need to be on *insert social media platform here*" -- Social media is the hang-out place everyone, those interested in your product or not, go to. Kind of like what Cheers was to Cliff Clavin after a long day of delivering mail. Of course Cliff would listen to you pitch him micro-fiber mail uniforms if you show up at the bar and throw it in his face, but is he going to like it?

Think about the last time you opened Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Did you open them to find out about interesting products or services? Most people use these platforms to check up on their friends (Facebook), work relationships (LinkedIn) and celebrities/wannabe celebrities they don't know (Twitter). So when Cliff goes to Facebook, the digital equivalent of Cheers for him, he's not going there to find out about micro-fiber mail uniforms. He's going there to idle, shoot the breeze and see what his pals Norm, Sam and Carla are up to. LinkedIn, the digital equivalent of the postal workers association, is a better place for the micro-fiber sales rep to contact Cliff on. Try your best to be a suave social seller and not one of these LinkedIn characters. The only social networks the micro-fiber mail uniform sales rep should be on are the ones he knows he can reach postal workers (the rep's potential customers) on and have meaningful conversations with them. They don't need to be everywhere.

There are a lot of uneducated and uninformed digital snakes in the marketing jungle. We hate digital marketers that insult our intelligence, throw buzzwords and abbreviations at us, talk all day and produce nothing. Technology has changed where marketing takes place, but the mechanics of how products get sold and business gets won hasn't. Digital marketing isn't nearly as complicated as people make it out to be.

Even Urkel knows that.