Since reading Linchpin I have given a name to my pain – ‘Lizard Marketing’. My goal is for you to think, it is better you read this than we talk about you when you leave the room. If you ever catch me doing this you are welcome to pull me up, even if you don’t know me. Of course I have NEVER done any of these things (cough).
1. The Lizard Marketer can often be seen scurrying in early to networking meetings to put all their flyers on the table. Then they scurry away like a child who nearly got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Why scurry away and avoid eye contact? Do you really believe in what you do? This is an engagement inward bound world! In marketing it must occur to you to measure what works and what does not? Do you find yourself printing reams of flyers, leaving then on the table by the door and when the event is over they are still there......
2. The Lizard Marketer keeps in touch. One of the biggest letdowns in marketing has to be when you first discover an email manager program and think your time has come! Let’s send out 2000 emails and book tickets to the moon! You excitedly check the click rate, no one buys. You realise that the only person that clicked was your mum. Fear not, the helpful Lizard Marketer sends it again in case people missed it, later they discover social media which means they can send it all day to even less people.
3. The Lizard Marketer usually markets for an organisation that ventures to help business. Usually they are so far behind they think they are first and they are usually Chambers of Commerce. Recently an email arrived from my local chamber saying they were delighted to announce that they were going to start sending a regular email newsletter - great! (I don’t like email but that is pedantic me.) But wait - they run a business influencing forum in the heart of London, a city with a particularly dense concentration (I use the word dense carefully) of ‘mobile enabled social media addicts’ and here are the Chamber advocating email as the next great wave. To mention anything to them at this stage would be like taking an ice cream away from a child.
4. The Lizard Marketer hits every network to sell whatever they have got, usually something to do with the internet or sales. Usually the internet people have done the course the sales guy is selling. Internet guy is a short sighted web designer who is happy to sell you a very heavy and outdated blogging / web solution for 2k that is dependent on their ongoing support. They neglect to mention everyone else uses Wordpress, Posterus or Blogger, well they have to shift what they have got don’t they? It is like working with a never ending garage sale.
5. The Lizard Marketer sees the community as the list to monetise. Run a big online network? Why don’t you let anyone you meet in a bar who offers you a commission leap in and sell to if? (You could call it a strategic partnership). In our London Meet Up organisers group it came up about how to contact people. Meet Up does not allow you to see each other’s emails; I don’t think you need to. When your group is engaging and committed you will get to know people. Unless you intend to solicit people why you would need an email before you meet them? You could find them online if they wanted you to anyway.
6. The Lizard Marketer is an ‘all about me’ person. The real magic only happens when it is 100% about the community. However polished, amazing or apparently helpful you think you are if you are ‘all about me’ it sucks and everyone knows it. Ironically because ‘all about me people’ are so ‘all about me’ they never hear the community trying to help them. Of course ‘all about me people’ will have a string of successes and gloat about their high profile relationships. Really ‘all about me’ people end up annoying more people than they help, fail to evolve and show up unexpectedly when they have a new book to puke on people about.
7. The Lizard Marketer and transparency – nothing wrong with a bit of allure and mystery but the days of secret are over. You can be in something exclusive, like the VIP room of a club but if you can’t tell me about your business you don’t have a business you have a racket or a cult. When asked ‘what do you do?’ please don’t say ‘I work with wonderful special people every day’ or if you are in finance or insurance don’t give me some rehearsed scripted evasive answer that you have practiced in front of the mirror (after you did the sales course with the internet guys) it scares me. Being nervous is natural and open- in fact nervous is much less difficult – For example the London Shy Meet Up is much more interesting than all the London ‘I think I am an entrepreneur’ Meet Up’s put together.
8. The Lizard Marketer needs to get in front of as many people as possible. When they see more than three people they pounce in with ‘I’m letting people know about our great offer’ tactic that occurs more as a plea for help than anything else. Want to get in front of as many people as possible? Read in your place of worship or stand at speaker’s corner. Lizard Event people are evil too, they see a Lizard Marketer coming (takes one to know one) and lure them into a ‘pay to speak’ model, allowing them to lecture to a bunch of ‘high profile business owners’ who only turned up for the free drink and to hand out flyers.
My call to action is to watch out for Lizard Marketing! How can we overthrow this? Not by being highly critical and righteous like me. You can combat it all by overcoming bad with lots of good, by keeping Linchpin Meet Ups going and not turning it into some washed out network. Keep it as a cool bunch of “enthusiastic thought leading Meet Up type people” that are addicted to shipping. We just need to support and quietly set an example. Even if half of the people who took part in London came back a second time that would be amazing, in fact it would be a bit scary if everyone did come back! So, are you in?
Have a remarkable day J
Comments always relished.