Many of the strategies in the marketing playbook are there for a reason – because they work.
Companies have spent billions of dollars, and the world’s brightest minds have spent millions of hours figuring these out… with the goal to get in the minds of consumers, appeal to their innate human behaviours, and drive people to buy.
However, when customers catch on that they’re being taken for a ride and a specific strategy is being used to them… it turns them off like a light switch.
1. Fake Scarcity
Catchphrases like “one-time offer,” “space is limited,” and “closing the registration window” play on the emotions that the less of something there is, the more people want to have it. The ploy of fake scarcity is to force customers to “act fast.”
But creating false scarcity can actually undermine your brand’s credibility. Plus, it often reads like you’re desperate for clients and sales.
Now real scarcity is different. And more often than not, the difference is in the reason why. For example, it’s obvious that there are no limited copies of your PDF. On the other hand, the limitation your support infrastructure has is very real and believable.
2. Overposturing To “Look Good”
Before a person decides to follow a brand, they want to know what makes the brand special or unique in what they do. So marketers utilise testimonials, case studies, even actual impressive results to establish their credibility.
But there comes a point when all that posturing can be a turnoff.
Say a marketer creates a series of short social media testimonials highlighting quotes that sound like this: “Business A is so awesome!” or “They’re the best in their field!”
Not a bad idea. But if that’s all you’re doing, you’re laying the promotion on a little too thick for most people’s tastes.
People are more interested in “what’s in it for them”. Clients want tangible and valuable advice to help them on their journey, not just celebrate the wins of others.
So there’s a balancing act between showing off your resumé and presenting the value of your offer.
3. The “Customer is Always Right” Philosophy
Appealing directly to a person’s need to be “right”, a marketer may try to bend over backwards to make customers feel special, adjusting their offer to meet the needs of a potential customer.
Again, this isn’t bad.
But imagine trying to be everything and anything for every customer you have. Your offer gets watered down. And instead of doing something well—your results just end up being mediocre.
These are just a few marketing strategies to avoid, just to get you started.
To be honest, there are too many marketing gimmicks to count. So I’ll close with this tip that works across the board – authenticity is always a great place to start.