The Most Common Marketing Lies

What You Need To Know About These 7 Common Marketing Lies and How to Spot a Lying Marketer









Not all marketers lie.




Some marketers just prefer to try and make a quick buck rather than stick to rigorous ethical standards.




“Lying is always a choice. Doing it in the context of marketing doesn’t change what it is”……says Peter Sandeen








Here are the 7 most common marketing lies






1. Great results

  • Many marketers imply that you’re definitely going to get the best possible results no matter how unlikely it actually is.

  • How much you benefit from a product or service depends almost entirely on you—the time and effort you put into making the most of it and how well it fits your individual situation.

  • Keep an eye on how marketers describe the product and the results.

  • What claims do they make?

  • Do they say, “this product will create” as opposed to “this product helps you create” when describing the results?

  • If they refer to you as the ultimate source of results, at least they’re providing a realistic picture of what a product can do.




2. Misleading implications

  • If you create a product hardly anyone can benefit from, you’ll struggle no matter how good your marketing is.

  • Can you—realistically—explain everything exhaustively?

  • Definitely not.

  • Use the most accurate yet reasonably simple way to describe your product or service.

  • To spot marketers who intentionally lie with misleading implied meanings, consider the degree to which their promise can mean something rather worthless.

  • If they use words that have very specific meanings, they’re probably not lying.




3. Tricky terms and conditions

  • If people need to read your “terms and conditions” to avoid misunderstanding your claims, then your claims are misleading.

  • For example, if you offer a “100% satisfaction guarantee,” you can’t limit it to just certain reasons for not being satisfied.

  • The challenge, however, is that the line between ethical statements and dishonesty revolves around “what’s reasonable to expect,” so it’s difficult to draw that line accurately.

  • If you feel the need to have a long “terms and conditions” page for a simple product, you’re probably making it more complicated than it needs to be.

  • And if you notice a marketer (regardless of what they sell) using vague terms and taking extra care to avoid telling you exactly what you’ll get, be careful.

  • They might be trying to hide something you could never anticipate.



4. Broken promises

  • You’ve most likely come across quite a few broken promises in the world of online marketing.

  • For example, “we’ll never sell this for a lower price” is one of the most common marketing lies.

  • Fortunately, only the most ethically challenged (or inexperienced) marketers ever break a promise outright when there’s money involved (e.g., prices and guarantees).

  • Surprisingly, many marketers are happy to bend the meaning of what they said if they deem it inconsequential.

  • Think about it.

  • How many times have you heard marketers say, “There won’t be a recording of this webinar, so you’d better be there live?”

  • And then, a few days later,  they announce, “So many people couldn’t make it live, so I decided to share the recording after all.”

  • If you said there wouldn’t be a recording, but you want to give people another chance to see the webinar, do the webinar again live.




5. Disrespectful actions

  • This is one of the most typical “marketing guru” ways to boost sales.

  • It takes three steps:

  1. Build an expensive product ($3,000+) and promote it aggressively telling people, “It will go off the market soon.”

  2. Stop selling the product when your sales die down.

  3. Build a cheaper product and give the original product as a free bonus to anyone who buys the new product.

  • Is it a marketing lie?

  • Maybe technically not, but it’s so disrespectful that they might as well steal your credit card and use it to fund the new product’s launch party.

  • It’s not illegal to give away something that you charged a lot for previously as a free bonus.

  • It’s just a way to make people realize you don’t respect them even the slightest bit.

  • If you ever notice someone doing that, run the other way; it’s just a matter of time before they screw you over somehow. 



6. Unnecessary upsells

  • If you’ve been around the online marketing circles for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of a product or service that “teaches you everything you need to know about [blank] to achieve [blank].”

  • All too often, unfortunately, after buying a product like that, you end up on a page where you’re told that something you expected to be included in the product just isn’t.

  • Instead, you have to pay more to get that vital piece of information.

  • Keep this in mind…..Whenever you offer an upsell, be clear about what’s included in the main product on the original sales page; the upsell should be something that adds value to the original offer, not something that fills the gaping holes in that product.




7. Bloated promises

  • Many marketers offer help with conversion optimization as part of a more general service.

  • Unless they were more specific about what you’ll get, they can usually get away with delivering much less.

  • The “quality code” every marketer should live by is this:

  • “Under promise, over deliver. But don’t cut back on your promises. Instead, promise so much people barely believe you can deliver it. And then give them more than they expect”.

  • It’s a good code to live by, especially if you don’t want to lie to your customers.

  • You’ll find selling much easier when you know you’re promising more than people expect and even over-delivering on those promises.







Do you know HOW to spot a lying marketer






Here are a few questions to ask when you’re considering buying something or just studying someone’s marketing material.

  • Do you get a sense that they’re running a business because they genuinely want to help you succeed or because they want to buy a fancy car with your money?

  • Do they assume all you want is to make as much money as possible? Or do they talk about your business as something you want to be proud of?

  • Do they constantly brag about how many millions they’ve made, how many millions their customers have made, and how many millions you will make if you buy their products and services? (Note that sharing realistic results in a factual way in specific situations isn’t the same as bragging.)





Look for people who make you feel good consistently—people you might even like to know personally.




Figure out what kind of people you can and want to help the most.




Then figure out the best reasons for them to buy what you sell (that’s your value proposition).




Focus your marketing efforts on helping people understand those reasons.






If you enjoyed this post and found TONS OF VALUE, please take a moment and share…..Thank You!




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To Your Success,
Joan Harrington



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0 Replies to “The Most Common Marketing Lies”

  1. Moreover if a marketer keeps repeating the benefits of a product it means the product does not have more benefits to tell or the marketer is not much confident he will sell his product with a few benefits a product can offer. In short repetition of message, too much boasting and again and again referring a single achievement may also create doubts in target audience.
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful info that really is helpful for both marketers and consumers.

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