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­čÄí­čÄíMarketing's hamster wheel and increasing opportunity for abuse.

This week looks at the life cycles of marketing techniques and the potential for abuse and a lot of m
­čÄí­čÄíMarketing's hamster wheel and increasing opportunity for abuse.
By Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani) • Issue #61 • View online
This week looks at the life cycles of marketing techniques and the potential for abuse and a lot of money.
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Founder at Radiate B2B

All marketing leads here.
Everyday marketers search for that edge that gives them an advantage over the competition. Likewise, suppliers seek to deliver that advantage.
The life of a new marketing technique goes something like:
1. A lot of pain persuading anyone that this new technique actually works.
2. Eventually someone bites and case studies start to appear.
3. Whispers about a new method that works starts to spread.
4. Everyone piles in.
5. Said marketing technique loses its out sized advantage.
When everyone piles in, there is an equivalent (out sized?) increase in suppliers. 
Influencer marketing is at stage 4 and for some sectors the FT argues is already at stage 5. 
Influencer marketing uses people in authoritative positions to discuss or show a companyÔÇÖs products. Authority does not mean knowledge though - merely a large audience.
This of course causes a desire on the part of the influencers to scam the system - collecting fake accounts to artificially inflate their size and allow them to charge more money. 
Savvy marketers are obviously aware of this and eventually influencers themselves will provide independent proof of their performance. By then though it will be just another marketing technique and the marketer is back to requiring creativity to give it an out sized advantage (or the next cool marketing technique). 
Long before the internet there were scams designed to extract money from unaware individuals.
The internet continues to make it easier though.
One of the biggest get rich quick schemes has been the affiliate marketing model, which companies use to pay a commission to people who sell a product on their behalf.
There is nothing wrong with the model itself (Amazon and eBay use it to their advantage), except that it is open to heavy abuse. 
Email spam was often a huge source of revenue for these people - selling diet pills, intelligence boosters etc. Today, spam filters are doing a significantly better job of removing these emails from sight.
Instead it is social media that has extended the reach of those campaigns further. Bloomberg digs into how Facebook not just facilitates access to a large audience, it automatically identifies and targets people who might succumb to these campaigns.
Facebook clearly needs to learn from the spam filtering industry - but it took many competing players to deliver that benefit over a long period of time. Can Facebook do that alone and quickly enough?

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Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani)

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