The truth about marketing hype is that it works.
That’s why you see so much of it.
A “boring” sales presentation won’t get very many takers. There has to be excitement. There has to be some promise to the listeners. There has to be something in it for me…the potential buyer!
And you have to get emotionally involved in the presentation in some way (no matter what some may claim emotions are involved in every purchase – even business to business ones).
But where is the line…and what makes it good persuasion compared to hype.
And what is “hype” anyway?
I looked up hype online and found MULTIPLE different definitions.
Using http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hype, here is what I found:
1. Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion: the hype surrounding the murder trial.
2. Exaggerated or extravagant claims made especially in advertising or promotional material: “It is pure hype, a gigantic PR job” (Saturday Review).
3. An advertising or promotional ploy: “Some restaurant owners in town are cooking up a $75,000 hype to promote New York as ‘Restaurant City, U.S.A.'” (New York).
4. Something deliberately misleading; a deception: “[He] says that there isn’t any energy crisis at all, that it’s all a hype, to maintain outrageous profits for the oil companies” (Joel Oppenheimer)
I looked it up in a bunch of dictionaries and found very similar answers.
No wonder we have trouble defining it. Even the dictionaries give us totally different subjects.
In the above, I would see no ethical problems with definition 1 or 3.
As a business owner I would love to have “excessive publicity” about what I offer…and of course I put together advertising and promotional plans all the time.
It’s 2 and 4 that are the problem. Exaggerated claims and deception are an ethical…and a legal issue as well.
So how do you tell the difference?
The problem I’ve seen is you can’t always tell the difference unless you know more about what is going on.
The reason I attack “hype” (definition 2 and 4 above) in the internet marketing industry so much is because I SEE how it hurts people.
Someone who is starting out brand new in their online business will not earn $10,000 this week. They won’t. It doesn’t happen. Someone who has built a few relationships and is ready to launch their product could do way more than this. But that’s not starting brand new.
Many people walk away from big internet promotional launches believing they can make millions online with very little work…because they heard the promoter now works very little (forgetting the fact they have 10 staff members now).
When I refer to hype in this industry, what I’m confronting are the exagerrated claims and the intentially misleading claims.
They definitely occur, REGULARLY in this market.
But they also occur in a lot of markets. I likely wouldn’t spot them in other markets though because I don’t have enough experience in those markets to know exactly what is possible and what is intentionally misleading.
What often happens in most markets is the same thing that happened here.
1. Some people succeeded online and told others about it. OF COURSE they were excited and hyped it up (using definition 1 and 3 above).
2. There were bigger success stories that came up…and these were shared (again using 1 and 3 above).
3. Eventually it gets to the point that a “normal” story didn’t grab attention anymore. Bigger claims were made and dishonest hype started coming in (definition 2 and 4 above).
4. Then it goes hog wild as anything goes with 2 and 4 level hype…until government organizations start reigning people in.
But how do you know difference? How do you know when people have moved into lying and deception?
It’s really tough.
As an expert I’ve been deceived before in this market. I’ll see some results in a certain type of advertising “proven” with examples…and then try it…only to find out that if their test results were true, there was definitely something else involved. My results were nothing even close to what they claimed.
This could be because I did it wrong (maybe I didn’t go deep enough to understand it), or perhaps they didn’t tell the “whole story.”
So what’s my caution to beginners in this field to help them avoid the most dangerous aspects of deception in this market?
1. Don’t expect any one product will hold all the answers.
It’s possible one product would change your life, and people have told me some of my products have done that for them before. But there will not be just one educational purchase in your internet career. If you’re like me, you’ll end up purchasing a lot of educational products over time. Plan for it and expect it. It’s a lifelong learning process.
2. Buy products because that’s what you’re working on right now.
If you’re starting to work on your search engine optimization, then buy products that have to do with this subject. Don’t buy a product about Facebook if that’s not on your marketing plan for the next month…no matter how much it is hyped up in the new product launch. Keep your focus and attention on what works for you.
3. Test advertising and new approaches in a cautious way.
I see this with clients all the time. Two markets can have radically different results from the same type of advertising. One market responds to video and the other one does not. One works through Facebook advertising while the other one doesn’t. One is too expensive to run on Adwords PPC search while the other one makes a fortune there.
The solution to this is to test new approaches in a small measured way. When you see success, expand on it. Don’t think you’ve found the “ultimate advertising” solution but keep expanding and growing your business.
In Other Words, Run a Real Business
You’ll notice all the advice above is again all about running a REAL BUSINESS…instead of treating your internet business like just another business opportunity.
Nobody starts a brick and mortar business without a business plan. The banks would never loan them the money!
They don’t radically change their whole operation unless they have some feedback or proof in their own industry that the change is wise (at least the successful ones don’t do this).
And they don’t change their business model and what they sell every month. They work. They grow. They expand.
Most importantly, they keep their focus.