Tuesday, October 03, 2006

When Good Marketing Gurus Go Bad

Like most folks involved with Internet marketing, I subscribe to many newsletters published by folks who call themselves gurus. I’m not sure what qualifies someone to be called a guru. I’ve been involved with marketing for over 20 years, and I certainly do not feel like I know it all. However, folks with far less experience have made millions of dollars through their online marketing ventures, and they call themselves guru. I helped position the companies I worked for to make billions but I guess that doesn’t count.

Did you ever receive the same special email announcements from your favorite marketing gurus in one day? They all start the same: hyping some new product or service from another guru. Then they tell you to order through their affiliate link to receive some special “fast mover bonuses.” Often the list and purported value of these bonuses is far greater than the actual cost and value of the item they want you to buy. And so the focus is moved away from the product they want you to buy and all of the attention is shifted back to the guru and their incredible bonuses. This makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

What boggles the mind is that so many gurus send you similar emails with the release of every new product or service. Soon they are no longer teaching you anything about marketing, but rather are totally engaged with promoting the products of other pseudo-gurus. At this point, the guru’s newsletter no longer contain valuable content, but rather becomes an ongoing series of promotional emails about other guru’s products and services.

These emails come in many forms. Today I received a long email from JR who spent 75% of the email talking about how other gurus have blatantly cloned his marketing techniques. He also has a pretty good rant about gurus and what makes a guru and what separates the real gurus from the pseudo gurus. And then he shifts gears radically to tell you about the latest product that EVERYONE else is promoting and offers you a personal business analysis that could be worth $100,000.00, and it’s yours, if you just order the recommended product of the day through his affiliate link. This is coming from a man who is widely respected and testifies to earning millions of dollars per year. So why lower yourself by going down the same road as all the other gurus out there?

I’ve decided to stop subscribing to so many marketing newsletters published by the gurus. All of their newsletters are beginning to sound alike as they all blatantly go down the same affiliate/joint venture marketing path. I want to make money, too, but at least I try to impart some wisdom to my subscribers. I don’t take my subscribers, prospects and customers for granted. I know they have limited time and bandwidth. They expect quality content. A little commercial between content is expected, but when a newsletter becomes nothing more than a glorified commercial with little to no content, then it is no longer a newsletter.