Marketing Basics for LinkedIn Spammers

A comment I posted earlier in response to some very un-targeted LinkedIn Group spam.

Hello, I’m not sure if you’ve posted this here by mistake, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the theme of the group, so I’m assuming that you have.

Actually, this seems to be a common mistake, and one which I blame on the fact that marketing is not taught from an earlier age. I would like to see it on the primary school syllabus. OK, that may be going a bit far, but I really do love the subject. I’m a marketing fanboy.

I believe that a basic understanding of the discipline would dispel many of the myths surrounding it and lead to a more harmonious world in which people were free to engage with like-minded individuals without the fear of misguided interlopers muddying the proceedings.

Seth Godin wrote a very interesting book, some time ago now, in which he set out the differences between what he termed “permission marketing” and “interruption marketing”. In fact, the book is called “Permission Marketing” and I highly recommend it.

As the title suggests, the book is all about how to develop good relationships, based on mutual respect (actually, it’s about how to extract the most money from the fewest people but marketers like to keep that a secret). He clarifies that there is also a time and a place for interruption marketing but that it should fit with a wider approach that doesn’t alienate potential customers.

Much of what he terms interruption marketing references established principles of the subject and, if you’re keen to know more about some of the basics, I would recommend another book, “Marketing: Concepts and Strategies” by Dibb, Simkin, Pride and Ferrell. It’s very old now, but it was the text I used as an undergraduate and it provides a great background reference.

Most importantly, this book talks about some of the principles of market segmentation, whether that be through the more traditional demographic segmentation or, more recently, psychographic segmentation. There’s a lot of theory, as you can imagine, but the core idea is that you should aim to carefully target people who might have some interest in your marketing message.

Of course, things have moved on a lot since books like the one I’ve just mentioned. We’re living in a social age and personal relationships are what business is all about (Permission Marketing was very focused on companies rather than individuals). Actually, personal relationships never lost their importance, but recent business history has seen them obscured.

Social technologies provide the means to cultivate those personal relationships again. And LinkedIn Groups, such as this one provide a forum in which we can all get to know each other a bit better and talk about things that interest us.

And that’s why I’m so sure that you made some kind of mistake here. Looking back through the history of marketing (and it’s been around a while) the insertion of your marketing message into this socially-driven corner of the web doesn’t seem to fit with any recent marketing paradigms. In fact, it seems to hark back to what some marketing people refer to as the “sales era”, and that went out of fashion a long time ago.

So, I thought it was only fair to point out that some error had been made. Of course, like so many problems, I believe that it presents a real opportunity. And, as it happens, I can provide a whole range of marketing services, rooted in the core principles of the subject and developed over many years at the coal face.

If you find that your marketing message isn’t getting the response that you’d hoped then please feel free to get in touch. I’m sure I can help. Be aware though that I’ve posted this exact same response to other people, so I’m not even following my own advice. “Physician, heal thyself”, as somebody once said.

So, the rather loose targeting of this message may mean that it’s not of any real interest to you. If it’s not then please feel free to ignore my advice. But if it strikes a chord then do let me know. I’m all about building a rapport.

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