Please take a look at this infographic. If it disgusts and horrifies you as much as it does me (it should) — and if you’re up for a little perspective — take a look at this, this, and this

That infographic is disgusting because it shows the extent to which some people, marketing people among them, are willing and eager to exploit our gullibility. And it’s horrible because, combined with that willingness to be duped (and our corollary unwillingness to explore diligently, to think critically, and to question everything), we’re exploited in this case by at least three fallacies of informal logic:

  1. The fallacy of sweeping generalization; e.g., digital marketing is effective for selling low-priced consumables. Therefore, it must be effective for high-priced capital expenditures. 
  2. The fallacy of hasty generalization; e.g., digital marketing works for selling some low-priced consumables. So, all digital marketing is good. 
  3. The fallacy of false cause; e.g., I sold a ton of five-cent widgets with digital marketing. So, I’ll be able to sell a ton of multi-million-dollar enterprise systems.

If you can’t be disgusted by the hype-merchants, at least be wary of them. Once they have you, they have no intentions of letting you go. That’s when disgust turns into …

The Horror

The day I saw the infographic linked above, I also saw this: “I Left the Ad Industry Because Our Use of Data Tracking Terrified Me”. It’s a little slice of Big-Brotherish terror-induction that says this, in part:

Advertising [has] ceased to be about connecting with consumers — it [is] now about finding novel ways of extracting evermore personal information from computers, phones, and smart homes … we [emphasis his] are the products, and the services we all use are just afterthoughts they put out to keep us hooked.

Think about that the next time you read some self-serving swill about digital marketing, digital transformation, inbound marketing, marketing automation, or whatever snake oil the profiteers happen to be hawking in the guise of science and marketing success on any given day. If that ephemeral nonsense leaves you feeling like Marlon Brando at the end of Apocalypse Now, you just might be all right.

This isn’t science, kids. It’s science friction.


Halloween photo created by kjpargeter, courtesy of freepik.com.

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