Boiler Room

Apr 9th

I just watched Boiler Room, a flick about shady stock market dealings from a chop shop, with people selling shit they don't believe in themselves.

The movie serves as a solid reminder why I generally have such a distaste for bogus push hype telemarketing in the SEO / SEM community.

One of my fundamental theories of marketing (and I - the marketer - view employment opportunities and social relationships as a subset of marketing) is that the harder something is sold to you the less value it must have. Granted I always think you should sell yourself first, but on the web pull marketing is much more efficient than push marketing, especially since it is so easy to hyper-target your messages and find and create niches.

If you ever go to New York City and look around at all the different niche businesses or read various types of spam (email, blog, etc etc etc) it is easy to see the core human emotions people are trying to profit from and just how much you can hyper-target a market and still be profitable.

As the web evolves and more of our lives and knowledge are integrated into the web it will only become easier for pull marketing to work well.

Published: April 9, 2006

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Comments

October 12, 2006 - 9:09am

I aggressively sell SEO over the phone in a cold-call environment. My company is significantly better in our niche target market than any other competitor even near our price range (any competitor better then us is anywhere from 5x to 15x higher in cost on average). Clearly we compete on cost and quite frankly the people that want this assume its expensive and don't actively look for a solution. Cold-Calling is an excellent way to reach those "passively looking" customers who are interested but have prohibited themselves by not looking. I don't see any less value here, we offer much more value for the much less cost then our competitors. We boast a high 90s (>95%) customer retention rate on a mounth to month basis with no contracts. That's unreal... clearly we're doing something right.

You're making a classic marketing guy mistake which is not understanding the point of sale. Sales guys often don't understand the conversation that leads to the sale so you're field of expertice is not alone. The key is realizing that BOTH outlooks are important in building a successful customer acquisition model. Cold-calling is simply a brute-force, low-level understanding way of marketing (getting the customer interested). It's not as an effective contact to lead ratio as real marketing... but it's damn effective.

October 12, 2006 - 9:29am

If your targeted search engine marketing services are useful for clients then how is it possible they are not good enough for your own business (which presumably you would know better than businesses of potential clients)?

IMHO, generally the person making a classic marketing mistake is anyone who hires SEO service providers that need to cold call for business.

April 10, 2006 - 9:24pm

Awesome movie.I specially love the part where they are all watching TV at this guy`s place and they start reciting the lines from the movie.
And the ending. I wont spoil it :)

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