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Anti-Marketing: How Your Enterprises Marketing Efforts Could Be Working Against You

Think of things like a consumer.

Consumers are bombarded with an army of pervasive promotions and advertising messages on a daily basis. Everyone is selling something, everyone is trying to out compete each other, and everyone is aiming to present themselves as the absolute best option on the market for whatever product or service they offer. However, it is becoming more apparent that content-less advertising, (i.e. simply making noise about your brand) doesn’t result in ROI, and in fact it can have the opposite effect.

Due to the volume of sales attempts, interruptions, and high levels of persistence, the consumer has taught him/herself to ignore the vast majority of marketing messages.

What is Anti-Marketing?

Anti-marketing is a term used to describe two different situations, that largely have the same result; decreased market-share, less leads and lower ROI. A competitor’s attempts to market your product negatively, by creating and distributing content aimed at discrediting or undermining your enterprise or brand, is the more traditional form of anti-marketing. These efforts are made in attempts to improve one’s market-share through weakening competitor brand equity and ultimately reducing that competitors appeal.

It’s essentially playing dirty. Traditional anti-marketing is the teenage girl of the marketing realm; achieving popularity through the dismay of your peers.

However, the form of anti-marketing discussed here is different.

It is a more recent understanding of the phenomenon which largely involves failed marketing endeavors, or over-marketing practices. This specific form can ultimately be described as the efforts involved in training a consumer to ignore marketing messages, unsubscribe, and often purchase elsewhere. This process involves overwhelming potential leads and/or consumers with messages full of irrelevant content. Not all marketing is brand-building, and in fact, some marketing can be brand busting. A constant bombardment of messages may break down some, but more often than not resistance is actually built up.

Consumers don’t want their time wasted with things that don’t apply to them or things that don’t directly affect them.

How Anti-Marketing Works Against Your Business:

Each instance a potential consumer ignores one of your messages, it increases the likelihood that they will ignore your messages in the future. Humans are creatures of habit, the more we do something the more naturally habitual it becomes and the less we think about it. When marketers send you content that is irrelevant and of little to no interest to you, each message increases the chances of you ignoring the next. Simultaneously, these efforts add feelings of animosity towards your brand, product or service.

This is when your marketing efforts become white noise; meaningless and distracting commotion going on in the background, never giving off a clear signal.

A random, collective, occurrence of unwanted stuff.

Marketing Isn’t About Appealing to Every Consumer:

Rather than focusing efforts on attempting to appeal to everyone, all the time, remain focused on a specific target market. There must be a balance between maintaining a valuable relationship with your consumer, and pitching. Give your target what they want, not a bunch of stuff they don’t.

Sometimes the customer isn’t for you, and vice versa.

Less Noise, More Surprise!

Keep it simple.

Remember, making your logo bigger and brighter, doesn’t transcend into more sales.

The focus should be on calculated attraction, not promotion! Your goal isn’t to make everyone like you, because the reality is that won’t happen. The goal is to appeal to those who matter the most. There is a significant shift occurring in enterprise marketing budgets. Many marketing efforts are moving away from the internet, radio, and banner ads, and moving more towards valuable offerings such as blogs, events, and community support. The focus has moved from simply building a brand, to building a community around a brand and allowing that community to market internally.

The establishment of a unique business model is known to drive branding and revenue, and the same effect can be seen through the establishment of a unique marketing model.

Marketing is an Art, Not a Science

Marketing should involve the art of persuasion, not the science of manipulation. The goal is to be different, unique, creative, and to think outside of the box with an aim of attracting leads and potential consumers that share your enterprise philosophies. The aim is to draw your market to you. Marketing should be practiced as an art, not a science, or a psychological experiment involving formulas to identify how to trick people into buying things.

Don’t be white noise. Stand out. But stand out in a way that offers value to your consumer. Don’t be obnoxiously obtrusive. Don’t turn everything into a sales pitch. Do provide content, value, and truth.

Content Marketing, the Cure?

People would rather be enlightened, then sold.

In a world flooded with spam, consumers have begun to appreciate useful information. When the level of spam becomes overwhelming, a potential lead’s animosity overrides their curiosity. When your marketing efforts have turned into anti-marketing, the best thing to do is carry out a marketing audit. Your marketing efforts are your business’s efforts to attract, convert and keep customers, so take a look at the message you are sending out. What do your efforts, methods and more importantly content say about your enterprise? Are you actively anti-marketing?

Create and curate content that is valuable to the consumer. Establish a strong enough connection with your consumers that your brand maintains a good position in their mind.

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