Marketing, to many people, automatically means manipulation, lying, and corporate greed.
“Ethical marketing” might as well be a joke.
And marketing “gurus,” in particular, are suspected of habitually using marketing lies to manipulate potential customers. But it’s not just the marketing gurus under suspicion; it’s anyone who tries to sell something.
To be clear, not all marketers lie. Some marketers just prefer to try and make a quick buck rather than stick to rigorous ethical standards.
And because of those—often very well known—individuals, people sometimes tell me point blank that they don’t believe what I say.
They might send me an email that goes something like this: “I need help with my marketing strategy. And what you said on your sales page about marketing coaching sounds exactly like what I need. But how do I know I can trust you? I’ve paid other marketing professionals before who promised me the moon and delivered nothing of any real value.”
The comments are frustrating; someone takes the time to tell me that he or she doesn’t believe what I say (or write) because “marketing professionals lie and mislead.”
Lying is always a choice. Doing it in the context of marketing doesn’t change what it is.