Marketing 101: insult potential customers

Marketing 101: insult potential customers

Marketing 101: insult potential customers

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Marketing 101: insult potential customers

Marketing 101 involves insulting potential customers these days. We see all too regularly the misleading advertising and false contractual and user manual claims. They would have you believe that you should always do the opposite of common sense or have a professional do even the tiniest of jobs. Often a monkey could do some of these jobs but us humans are assumed to be too stupid to know how to do research for ourselves.

This has been going on for years but it has picked up pace as society has been dumbed-down. This is seen so much now that asking your parents or grandparents for common sense advice is frowned upon by shamers in newspaper columns, pretenders who are unqualified “experts” (usually people selling something) and Twitter trolls. Here are examples of Marketing 101: insulting potential customers.

The first example is loan documents. Banks used to (and probably still do?) tell car loan customers that it was not in their best interests to pay off their loan quickly. Financial advisers laughed and reminded people that they would not have to pay so much interest if they did pay off their loan quickly.

Another example is the old Job Network that we all read, mostly negative, stories about. Some of those useless agencies, bludging off our tax dollars to get rich, used to tell unemployed prospective clients in their marketing to choose them so that they would learn a whiz bang secret that the unemployed could not possibly have any clue about. It was about different types of job interviews, including panel ones. The consultants would pretend to be shocked apparently when job seekers told them that they already know because they have been there and done that. Then it was off to the next agency to see what insulting nonsense they had lined up.

Then there are user manuals for cars. These would always encourage you to waste money having your local dealership do the simplest of things that you can easily learn to do yourself. Thousands of people ignore the nonsense every day, get the workshop manual, and do the job themselves. (And yes I know it is a different story for electrical devices in the home.)

Then there are newspapers, that retail workers say that they cannot even give away, that make laughable, wild claims based on a 5 minute dodgy survey to show that they are more popular than Father Christmas. Neilsen rankings tell a vastly different story but newspapers try to have you believe that you will fail to sell your house, car, cat and your arm if you do not advertise with them instead of using a better, more popular showcase like the internet.

Similarly, there are advertorials in the local newspaper these days and they criticise DIY people for having no idea. The companies insult everyone’s intelligence by saying that only a professional can mow your lawn, plan and design your new garden path to lead you up, clean your shower tiles, change a leaky tap washer and so on. So people are that dumb that they would fall for that instead of doing their own research or a course to learn about it, these companies think.

The lesson for consumers is to avoid those companies like a plague. The lesson for businesses is to take the risk and hope that insulting nonsense does not have a negative impact because everyone is doing it so you can be excused, you hope. Good luck with that!

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