In marketing, it’s the small stuff that makes all the difference.
Here’s an example.
I recently signed up for a forum on Internet marketing. It’s a forum with a good reputation and I was interested in meeting other Internet marketers and exchanging thoughts and ideas.
Almost immediately, I received a private message from the forum owner. The message read as follows: (I’ve removed the identifying info because that’s not the point here.)
Thanks for registering at *****! We are glad you have chosen to be a part of our community and we hope you enjoy your stay.
While there are many valuable threads in the main part of the forum, the real gems and valuable posts are inside the ***** section of the forum.
The ***** is the paid membership area of the forum. Please consider joining us there in order to realize the best value from your stay here at *****.com.
*** ***** is currently closed, set to reopen in Jan 2010*** (my bolding for emphasis)
There were two red flags for me. Small ones, but enough to give me an immediate negative impression of the forum.
Firstly, I hadn’t even had time to look at the free sections of the forum, or to find my way around, or to get involved in a conversation or two before I was being pitched to buy into the “good stuff.”
Forums are all about relationships and asking me to buy before establishing any kind of a relationship with me whatsoever was offputting to say the least.
Secondly, notice the wording in bold. According to that, the paid section is currently closed, and scheduled to open in January 2010. Well, guess what? It’s October 2010. So why hasn’t the forum owner changed the message?
Small stuff indeed. But enough to cause me to hesitate. There are plenty of other Internet forums around and I don’t need to hang around one which doesn’t practice what it preaches.
Harsh? Very possibly. But then we’re talking about how easily the small stuff in marketing can make a big difference. And it really can.
What small stuff in marketing bugs you? Leave a comment and we’ll compile a list of the small stuff to avoid.