I have one. Maybe you do, too. My latest one is a long-lost acquaintance from high school who found me on Facebook and has started sending me hype about his online business.
Now Facebook “marketplace” friends are sending me blather about condos for sale and full coverage medical insurance for $19.95/mo. I kid you not.
A marketing bully has found me.
A marketing bully posts self-serving comments on your blog that have nothing to do with your article.
A marketing bully hires a company to make computer-generated calls to your cell phone.
A marketing bully hires people to hand you flyers as you walk down the street.
A marketing bully has staff send email blasts to rented lists.
A marketing bully approves TV ads that are extra loud.
A marketing bully has people call the elderly with mortgage refinancing on unfavorable terms.
What the marketing bully does is not just interruption marketing.
A marketing bully excels at hi-jack marketing.
The marketing bully hi-jacks your thought process, your time, your physical space, your airwaves, your cogent blog post, your inbox, your savings, your future income.
His (since I haven’t run into a her) game is a zero sum one. He wins when you lose.
His business philosophy is something like this: all the money he is ever going to make is in someone else’s account right now.
Let’s get it.
The marketing bullies I have met are missing a key attribute: compassion for strangers, also known as prospects, visitors and customers. They are generous and compassionate with their families and friends, yet all that is left behind at the door to their office.
In behavioral terms they are thinkers not feelers, action-oriented not strategic.
Business is not personal. It’s a game to win.
They haven’t grasped the sea change of the web.
Prospects and customers don’t have to put up with the marketing bully. They can type out a comment, post complaint, use their keyboard to influence and prevent future sales. Prospects can ruin a marketing bully’s business.
It’s not just a bad reputation on Angie’s List. The web is everyone’s list. Everyone in the world.
Your reputation in high school didn’t follow you to college. But your digital reputation will follow you, your family and your business beyond your own life span.
The marketing bully will not stop until the tactic is no longer profitable.
So, like any bully situation, call it when you see it. Let’s make the tactic unprofitable.
My DVR skips the loud ad. My unpublished phone number avoids his calls. My spam filter catches his email blast. My digital comment on his marketing tactic is searchable forever.
I’m unfriending my marketing bully.
I’m going so far as to change how I create marketing for start-ups. A start-up’s business reputation should be one of competence, excellence, delivery and support.
I’ve found that inbound marketing is a better way to build your business reputation along these lines. And deliver vetted leads at a lower cost than any other marketing strategy.
It’s the best way to be the unbully. In other words, someone you trust, respect and will do business with.
Who is your marketing bully?