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How to Fail as a Marketer in 10 Easy Steps

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by guest blogger Marjorie Clayman, director of Client Development at Clayman Advertising

A lot of the content that marketers can find and reference these days aims to inspire, motivate, and educate.  This article is a bit different. This article is for marketers who most sincerely want to fail. It’s for marketers who find success very run of the mill. It’s for people who want to fall on their marketing swords. To that end, then, here are 10 ways to achieve complete and total failure as a marketer. (And if you don't want to fail, consider it your to-don't list.)



  1. Start a Facebook account, LinkedIn account, Twitter account, and a blog. Set everything up, so it looks like activity is imminent. Then let the accounts sit there, abandoned. Do not revisit them. Forget your passwords.


  2. Start the same way as above, but this time, start the accounts armed with information you want to share. The key point here is that you want to start all of the accounts without researching whether your competitors and customers are there. Do not under any circumstances give careful thought to your avatars, your design, your usernames, or any other such details. Feel confident that your content is important enough that people will gravitate to it.


  3. Measure your success based on leads, not sales.


  4. Assume that marketing has nothing to do with public relations, sales, customer service, or anything else. You are autonomous. Marketing is as marketing does. Silos are popular. Just look at the Midwest.


  5. Once you silo yourself, make sure that your marketing tactics are similarly separate from each other. Do not give any thought to how advertising could support a social media campaign. Do not ponder how exhibiting at a trade show could have anything to do with lead nurturing. Every tactic is an island.


  6. Interpret levels of success in social media based on the numbers of fans or followers you have. Once you reach a pre-established milestone on both sites, it’s a good idea to add the word “expert” or “guru” to your profile.


  7. Do not under any circumstances consider search engine optimization in anything you do. You don’t need to optimize your website or anything else. You’re on Facebook and Twitter!


  8. Assume that nobody understands anything you are talking about because you reside in the new and in the details.


  9. Do not share tips, tricks, or information. You worked hard for that data. If someone wants it, they’ll have to work with you. And pay you. A lot.


  10. Act like a marketer. Everywhere you go, pitch something that someone can purchase. Send automatic direct messages enticing people to buy your services or your products. And remember: Promote yourself as much as possible.


I can guarantee that following even following just a few of these steps, in no particular order, will deliver the marketing misery for which you are striving. Trust me. I’m a guru.

Marjorie Clayman is director of Client Development at Clayman Advertising, a full-service marketing communications firm located in Akron, Ohio.

After receiving her bachelor's degree from the College of Wooster (Ohio), Marjorie went on to earn a Master of Library Science as well as a master's degree in history from Kent State University. Five years ago, she became the third generation to join the family firm, which her grandfather founded in 1954. Recently, Margie has spearheaded the company's efforts in promoting social media to the agency's business-to-business and medical clients as a viable part of their overall integrated marketing campaigns.


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Ann Handley is chief content officer of MarketingProfs, a monthly contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules (Wiley, 2012), which has been translated into nine languages, including Turkish, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Portuguese. Ann co-founded ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary.

Twitter: @MarketingProfs
Email: ann@MarketingProfs.com.

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  • by Sandra Clayman Tue Aug 24, 2010 via blog

    Thanks for pulling the To-Don't list together. It is as important as the To-Do list. Good going.

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