When “Proven” Techniques Fail

2902033876_aab943f128_bI have been noticing something lately.  The industry of marketing seems to do a very good job of marketing itself.  Everyone who sells products promising to teach you how to market has a great deal of proof to back up their claims.  My experience tells me that a great deal of marketing materials are wrong or delicately skewed to look better than it really is.  So how do you discern quality from the junk being sold?

Finding true quality amidst the junk can be a very difficult job, it can even be a full time job.  Since I’m trying to actually run a successful business I cannot afford to spend all my time deciding what is junk and what isn’t.  So what do I do.

Evidence

Evidence can be the number one proof for a product so make sure you are looking at it critically.  Identify if the evidence really does appear to support the claims the marketer is making.  Sometimes you will need to take the product out for a test to provide personal proof.

Timeliness

Sometimes the reason a marketer is selling the information to you rather than keeping it to themselves is that the information is no longer very valuable.  Check the time lines on their proof, what worked to sell a product 5 years ago isn’t likely to be as successful now.

Uniqueness

A unique idea can be incredibly successful.  Duplicating a unique idea is often not as successful or even a dismal flop.  Check out how much of the advice being given relies upon solid timely advice and how much relies upon some crazy product the marketer created in the past.  Unique is important because you don’t want what everyone else already has, but be careful that it isn’t a clone stamp of a past unique idea.

Practical

An advice giver can be one of two types of people.  Someone who profits from the advice they give, or someone who profits from using the advice they give.  Be wary of marketers who are not “dog-fooding” as they saying goes.  If they are not actively using their own advice it can be very difficult to trust that they aren’t just scammers.

After those simple steps I find I have eliminated most of the advice I hear.  After I have eliminated the advice I consider to be junk I can spend a little more time investigating individual pieces of advice and feeling comfortable about the giver of the advice.  Always check “proven” techniques because the proof sometimes turns out to be smoke.

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