How Bad Marketing is Killing Good Marketing


Is it me, or has the number of unsolicited moronic emails and cold calls that we get every day reachedbad-marketing-450 a fever pitch? Over the past several months it feels like it is accelerated to a desperate level as too many vendors and “salespeople” are panicking to make something happen, but in fact are just making it worse.

I did an analysis over the past month and was horrified to realize that the longest I have gone in a day without an unsolicited voice mail or email is 34 minutes. And I have my spam filters on both my email and phone turned up to the maximum!

The reality is that these bad vendors are getting both more sophisticated and stupid at the same time. By sophisticated, they are leveraging digital tools and figuring out ways of setting up automated workflows and getting through the spam filters into the inbox. By stupid, I am referring to the dozens of poorly written emails that we are inundated with every day. How is this one for mind-blowing stupidity (I swear this is real and total unedited except for the person’s name):

Subject: DEMO Call Request

Hi Rob ,

I hope you've been doing Great,

I’d like to invite you for a short virtual meeting over DaaS (desktop as a service) as part of your digital transformation strategy for Advantexe Learning Solutions

We are No 1 Rated DaaS (Desktop-as-a-service)

We provide High-performance & secure Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)

Do you have availability for this week or another?


Sales Development Executive

What is NOT wrong with this cold email? First there is a grammatical error on literally every line of it. Second, I have no idea what they are talking about. There is no value proposition, and there is no valid business reason for me to read it.

When you take a moment to think about this email and absorb it, there are certain facts that have you shaking your head:

  • A human being sat down and wrote this garbage. Looked at it. Thought it was going to be effective and sent it to me and probably hundreds of others.
  • There is a sales manager someplace who is managing this person and thinking they are doing a good job and approving the tactics.
  • There is a leader of this business who has hired the “sales manager” and a team of “salespeople” who is working to create a “business” around ineptitude.
  • That owner/founder probably spent months if not years putting together a business plan and building some sort of solutions (still not sure what it actually is).
  • There are most likely investors who think this is a great idea and have invested their assets and other people’s assets into a business that has no clue what they are doing.

What is so galling about this is that it is ruining the art of Marketing and Selling for everyone else. In Advantexe’s Strategic Business Selling practice we do the research and have created the tools to help our Marketing and Sales clients succeed. One of our fastest growing topics in the practice is developing the art of breaking through the clutter of the madness as we have built the approach around having:

  • Strong Business Acumen skills.
  • Preparing for and understanding customer needs.
  • Presenting clarity on who you (as a sales professional) are.
  • What is your value proposition?
  • What is the valid business reason for the outreach?
  • How my solutions have had a positive and measurable impact on my customers.

As I write this blog post, I am fearful for the good companies that have important value to share are being crushed by the bad companies who have nothing of value to share. I say that as I help train Pharmaceutical Account Managers how to share their value propositions around cancer medications and are emotionally being thrown into a bucket of hucksters that are trying to sell something called a “DaaS.”

In summary, the bad marketing is not going to go away because it is cheap, lazy, and easy to say that they are “trying.” That means the good companies, with legitimate value propositions, must get even better at mastering the art of the cold email and cold call. More focus, even better messaging, a real value proposition, and practice are all that’s left to do. Marketing now has a seat at the table and can really make the difference in driving the business. Don’t waste the opportunity.

why business acumen matters

Robert Brodo

About The Author

Robert Brodo is co-founder of Advantexe. He has more than 20 years of training and business simulation experience.