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Bad Marketing Advice Can Cost You Millions in Revenue

If somebody says he is a marketer, do you believe what he says? My guess is not that much. If they say they worked with John Lewis or Harrods? Automatically you will say they must know something or that they are a great marketer.

If somebody jumps off a bridge, would you jump as well? My guess is no. Yet this is happening every day in the marketing world; let’s do what our competitor does and increase our budget.

It doesn’t mean that if somebody is doing something it’s the right way. I always say to succeed in business and life do the exact opposite of what the majority do. Successful brands and successful people always break patterns. They don’t follow the mass market, because they know that what the majority of people do is emotional and people don’t want change.

No, I made a mistake, people want change, they just don’t want TO change. That’s why I always suggest to do the exact opposite. You can’t win the game by being the same, by following the crowd. Today take a look at advertising messages; 99% are the same adverts done with the same mentality.


I was in a sales meeting last week with a potential client. It was a referral from a friend that I know so the conversation was around their brand and their goals. When I left the meeting I was surprised how people trust others when somebody says something great about them.

If you worked with a major brand, immediately you must know what you are doing. I don’t believe that it’s true. I believe that you need to show your skills and your talent. It doesn’t mean that I’m great because I worked with certain brands.

I know plenty of marketers and agency owners that are teaching in Universities but have no idea about marketing, design or storytelling. How is this possible, you might ask. Ignorance is bliss.

In today’s society we accept the fact that if somebody tells us a huge brand or some terms it means they know what they are talking about and they are ‘experts’.

Sven-Goran Eriksson (former England manager) was forced to sell homes after “Bad Finance Advice”. Eriksson accused his financial advisor (and took him to court) for losing £10million. He said: “You know I never hated anyone in my life, I don’t think I have many enemies but I hate Samir Khan because you can’t treat people like he has done. He’s probably the only person on earth I hate”.

This taught me a life lesson; it doesn’t matter if you tell me that you are a financial expert or a marketing professional. You never know the level of the other person’s knowledge.

The problem with bad advice is that way too many marketers read a headline and then go to their clients and tell them something that they read and the client believes them without doing any research.

The worst part is the friend/family member marketer advice. Yesterday I passed by a store and spoke to a small business owner about his marketing. So you get the picture, I will elaborate how his designs are; done in Microsoft Paint. What I mean is that they are very unprofessional and ‘bad’ designs. His product is awesome, like really it’s an amazing product but his designs and marketing in general is just horrendous. I would never go to his store if it wasn’t for my girlfriend. I know that design and marketing is subjective but we all can agree when we see something nice and beautiful.

When I spoke to him he told me that his cousin is helping him out with his marketing. His cousin has some software (I guess he meant Photoshop) but he is not a designer. I told him that he can improve dramatically and he told me that next year we will discuss it.

My heart breaks when I hear this because I know that this Christmas period he will lose so many opportunities that it’s ridiculous. When you don’t know, you don’t know.

Small companies go out of business without realizing what was the cause of them going out of business. Usually they say stories like this; the government is bad, market conditions, staff and other excuses that makes them feel better.

The solution to bad advice is just research by yourself. Have a look, read, think and question everything. If we all start doing our own research and have an open mind then we would have improved our lives dramatically.

Don’t believe what your cousin says and what your advertising agency says. Look for yourself. Look more into physiology; why people buy. Don’t think if somebody has 10,000 likes they know what they are doing; you can buy fake likes.

We don’t know what we don’t know. So the best strategy is to research.

Here is some bad marketing advice:

“Drop the price. That will help us get more sales!”

Doug McCartney, Software (SaaS) Sales and Marketing Leader


“In 2009, the CEO of a (now bankrupt) advertising agency I used to work for said, ‘Don’t buy into that internet hype. It’s just a fad and it’ll die out soon.'”

Olaf Pijl, Freelance SEM Consultant



“We don’t need Marketing, this will sell itself!”

Lashondra Graves, VP of Marketing and Social Media Strategy at Strategic Decision Education Foundation



“What worked in the past will work in the future.”

Steve Turley, Director of Technology Consulting at Bulldog Solutions


“You just got to get your name out there.”

Randy Aimone, Content & Inbound Marketing Specialist


“The worst advice I’ve ever heard is that social media marketing is not worth the time. Social media marketing requires a lot of work and strategy, but if the effort is put in we find that it is extremely valuable and effective, especially for small businesses.”

Trevor Murphy, Vice President / Business Development at Friendemic



“The worst advice that I received was ‘it’s my way, or the highway’ kind of thinking and closed mindset.”

Beverly Boston, Systematic & Integrated Marketing Firm

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