Why Education-Based Marketing is a Fraud.
Educational marketing doesn't work anymore.
It's a fraud.
It's a shame too.
Because the right marketing is a great way to grow your business.
Let's go back. This discussion started with the rise of marketing as a strategic selling tool.
Previously, sales executives were thought to be the best way to drive top line growth and increase brand awareness.
Now, marketing can serve many of the same purposes. And add a much lower price point.
So it's only natural that a discussion around marketing creates so many different opinions and strategies and philosophies.
But it's important to look at what works now.
Not what has worked or what once wored or how amazing it was when it did work.
A big part of being successful in business is objectively analyzing the effectiveness of what you do.
Part of that "you-can't-teach-old-dogs-new-tricks" mytht has a lot to do with how we aggrandize past successes.
All the above are true about education-based marketing.
It had its day.
That day just happens to be yesterday.
The basic premise of education-based marketing is that if you give people the right facts over a long enough period of time, they will come to the right conclusion. Your conclusion.
This takes into account of course the observation that we are all biased. And that as sellers we want buyers to adopt our bias -- to understand the facts as we see them.
Education-based marketing believes that if a buyer understand your bias and is educated and why that bias helps them that the buyer will make a purchase that includes giving their money to your business.
At its face value there is always a part of that that will always work.
Learning how to reframe dialogue in any industry is wildly important for staying relevant and creating conversations that get you noticed.
But it's just not enough to grow your business.
Education isn't the right formula.
Take for example the addict.
The alcoholic knows that their addiction is likely going to kill them. They know that it's the reason why they can't hold down a steady job. They understand that it's creating the emotional un-intelligence that drives friends and family away from them. But in spite of knowing all that, education isn't enough to make them change.
It's not just the addict who doesn't care about education.
It's just about all of us at certain points in our life.
After 13 years of prep school and many years studying for advanced degrees, most of us have spent close to two decades of our life being educated by those who have niche knowledge in areas that we don't. We're being educated.
And while in the classroom most of us do a great job of synthesizing the information that we're receiving and repeating it back for above-average test scores.
But what about when the class is done?
What about when all the tests are given? What happens then?
Most of us take that education shove it to the back of our brain and make decisions based on part education and part our own personal opinion.
Even though we've been educated by perhaps the best experts in the world on a particular subject, we decide that our own opinion supersedes the opinion of the experts.
And this just isn't for the classroom.
We all do this in other areas of our lives.
- We do this at our job.
- We do this in church.
- We do this in social settings.
We understand what the rules are, we are educated on the etiquette of how to handle that situation, but proceed to do what we really want to do.
That's why education-based marketing doesn't work.
Because people are still going to do what they want to do.
Sure you'll attract some.
You're going to close a few deals by educating people, but you won't be as effective as you could be.
You need to chose a different direction for your marketing.
Inspire instead of educate.
Instead of teaching people that there is a better way, try inspiring people to find a better way themselves.
Inspiration does what education could never do.
It touches the heart. Education just touches the head.
And from thousand of years of people selling and buying, one thing we know is true: "Buyers buy when sellers connect with their soul. Connect with their heart."
The head is nothing to do with buying. The head keeps you alive. It doesn't buy products.
The fraud behind education-based marketing is you believing that it actually has long-term growth potential for your business.
There is no "long tail" with education-based marketing.
And despite being uninspired, it really smacks of another dangerous messaging matter.
The content is boring.
It might be right.
It probably is.
But that doesn't change the fact that you make people groan every time one of your educating e-mails hits their inbox.
According to Exact Target email statistics, 6 out of 10 people noted "boring content" as the number one reason they unsubscribe from emails they originally signed up for.
You're actually training people to avoid, delete, and otherwise unsubscribe from your content.
Sure the first e-mail or two sounds exciting when people are learning something new.
We call that "beginners luck", right ?
The brain is fully stimulated. The nervous system is taking in all the receptions from the outside environment.
It's what happens the first time anything good happens.
- Your first date.
- Your first day on the job.
- Your first day at school.
It's all exciting and wonderful.
But right about the third or fourth time, it starts to become a little monotonous.
That's where education-based marketing turns your buyers against you.
You need inspiration.
It takes more time and emotional investment to touch the soul of your buyer.
That's why most of us don't do it.
But maybe that's why we don't have the growing, thriving businesses that we should have.