There are a few marketing tactics that leave a bad taste in your mouth. Then there are others that are downright deplorable. Two of the worst kinds of marketing tactics are the bait and switch and mock advertising. Every time I see one of these I throw up in my mouth a little.
The Bait and Switch
Bait and Switch Marketing has been around for as long as I can remember, and is quick to fuel vitriol from would be customers. First, customers are baited with a lucrative offer or contest for a product, only to find out upon arrival or entry that they are being pushed a similar product that is either higher in price or lower in quality, and often times both. Bait and Switch Marketing has been found to be subject to lawsuits by both consumers and manufacturers and the customer never leaves happy, making it one of the dumbest marketing tactics that one can employ.
Recently my wife received this official looking document in the mail. After close examination, it turned out to be a direct mail piece hawking vehicle insurance for Guardian Insurance. After receiving this letter, I can guarantee you one place we WON’T be buying insurance from. This shady insurance company didn’t fool us, but how many elderly or independent mentally-challenged individuals fall victim to those letters all the time? As far as I’m concerned, Guardian doesn’t deserve to be in business if they’re going to use tactics like that. It’s my sincere hope that some of the victims of these policies file suit against the offenders and make them pay for this marketing hustle that they’ve no doubt pulled off on thousands of people.
There are better ways to engage your audience and convert leads to customers than to manipulate and mislead. Marketing is like just about everything else in life: take time to do things the right way, or don’t do them at all.