Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is it the Truth? Can You Prove It?

Is it the Truth? Can You Prove It?

Seth Godin wrote the book, “All Marketer’s are Liars”. I believe that the title is meant to be tongue in cheek. Unfortunately too many marketers take that title literally and assume that they must lie to be an effective marketer.

The purpose of marketing is to build your business. One of the critical ways to do that is by building relationships, enhancing trust and making your prospects feel confident about buying from you.

Would a lie help you do any of those things?


So why would some marketers lie?

Perhaps they believe that prospects will believe their lies. Perhaps they believe their best clients are stupid and won’t challenge the lies. Maybe they have a short term plan. Sell some bottles of “Doctor Good” then leave town the next day.

Do these liars subscribe to the mantra “There’s a sucker born every minute”?

The following marketing statements look like lies to me because they fail the test of “Is it true?” and “Can you prove it?”

“The most trusted and straight-forward contractor in the business”


Wow! Who decides on that designation? Did your friends decide on that honor while eating your steaks and sipping your wine at the cottage?

This contractor had a half page advertisement in the local newspaper that listed his activities. But none of them addressed the obvious question, “Who declared you The most trusted and straight forward contractor in the business” and what exactly does that mean?

If your mother called you that – then state the source of the label. That might be funny.

Naturally, the word that trips my BS meter is the word “most”.

Canada’s Leading Provider of Financial and Estate Planning Advice”

How does a company become the leading provider of the country? Are they the biggest? Not in this case because this is a relatively small local provider. How are they leading and who granted them that epithet? The next question might be, “Where are they leading people?” Are they leading in revenue or are they leading in losing money?”

The phrase that trips my BS meter in this case is “Canada’s Leading”.

I contacted this company and asked them to explain that label but didn’t receive a reply. I also had to request removal from their email list several times before their emails stopped. Curious, they appeared to be both liars and spammers.

Are these companies leading in bold-faced lies?

Are they leading in their own imaginary worlds?

Why do they feel the need to lie?

The lessons for you:

Absolutes are almost always a lie.
It’s a lie if it’s not the truth.
It’s a lie if it’s out of context.
It could be a lie if you can’t prove it.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

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