creepy marketer

Creepy Marketers: How To Tell If You’re One Of Them

Michael Scott (Steve Carell’s character) from the sitcom The Office isn’t the savviest of all people (and if you watch that show, you’re already chuckling at the idea). In fact, he’s a great example of what we call a “creepy marketer”.

During a Diwali celebration in season three, Michael decides to get up on stage and propose to his girlfriend… on their ninth date!

Here’s the conversation that ensued after she turned him down:

Michael: No. I get it. I get it. You’re not ready. We’ll wait. This is a classic…

Carol: This is the ninth date, Michael.

Michael: Yeah, well, but I feel like I’ve known you many lifetimes. Maybe I’m Hindu after all. OK, I’m not Hindu, but, Carol. Carol, I just…I feel like…I just like you so much.

Carol: I better go. You can find a way home, all right?

Michael: Yes.

Carol: OK.

Michael: OK. Good night. Hey, you know what? Why don’t I come with you. I’ve got this book called the Kama Sutra.

Carol: OK, good night, Michael.

michael scott

“I’m quitting paper to become a creepy marketer.”

This may seem like an extreme (but entertaining) example of someone who comes off a bit strong, but sadly, many marketers approach their audience this way.

As in, they think they need someone to commit to buying a core product or service within the first few meetings.

As in, they’re creepy marketers.

Let’s find out if you’re one of those creepy marketers.

Imagine this scenario for just a moment:

You’re single and see an attractive stranger at a coffee shop. They seem wonderful. They’re exactly the type of person you’re interested in dating. You decide to muster up the courage to go talk to them.

Do you…

A. Calmly approach that person, introduce yourself, find something in common, and strike up a conversation with the hope that, in time, you might be able to get to know each other; or…

B. Run up to that person, flail your arms around, scream that they are going to fall in love with you and be your soulmate with the hope that, in the next five seconds, they’ll agree to marry you?


C. Hide in a corner because girls are scary!

Most normal people would opt for something similar to choice A.

Most marketers would attempt something closer to option B.

Which one are you doing? If you went with A, congratulations… there’s hope for you yet!

Ask for their number, not their hand in marriage.

Just like in our coffee shop scenario, if you come across a prospective lead or they come across your small business, try starting small by asking for their phone number or email instead of demanding their hand in marriage. In marketing terms, “marriage” means the purchase of your most expensive core products or services.

Later, you can ask your lead out to dinner — in this case, encouraging them to make a small transaction with your business — and gradually foster the relationship over time.

But that’s not what most marketers are doing.

A lot of marketing strategies we see out there, whether by a do-it-yourself marketer or even a pro, would have you walk up to a prospective lead and scream the equivalent of, “The minute I saw you, I knew you were the one. Will you marry me?”

Bad idea!

creepy marketers

“I know I just met you 7 seconds ago, but…”

Look, it’s great that you’re enthusiastic about the product or service you’re promoting. That passion is crucial to success.

You know that your potential customer can really get genuine value from what you do, but that doesn’t mean they need your product or service right now… or that they even know they need it at all.

And if you let your passion (MARRY ME!) override the pattern of normal human relationships (what’s your number?), then your lead will bolt faster than one of Michael Scott’s dates.

If you come across a potential lead, ask for an email instead of demanding marriage. Click To Tweet

You only have a few seconds… make them count.

The average user judges a website within the first 10 seconds and tends to leave around that time, according to research conducted by the Neilsen Norman Group. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to interact with a new lead — and definitely not enough time to immediately propose a long-term relationship with them.

Even if you get someone to say, spend 20 seconds on your website, they’ll most likely still turn away… especially without a strong, prominent call to action.

And the money you spent to get that lead? Gone.

To dig the hole even deeper, we 21st Century humans have the minds of goldfish. The average online attention span only lasts 8 seconds.

bored man at computer

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve another congratulations.

Look around, there are so many things that distract our minds.

Emails, texts, phone calls… just some of the many things that demand our attention on a daily basis. On average, people check their emails more than 30 times each hour and use their phones more than 1,500 times every week.

One of the worst things marketers can do is try to get right to the sale, right off the bat.

So do the opposite.

Instead of coming across as super needy and ensuring nobody will ever want to buy from you, try this…

Think of marketing like dating.

You want to make a good first impression so you can further the relationship. Basically, you want to offer a little something of value in exchange for the other person’s phone number or email.

You may feel like you’re giving this value away for free, but that’s not true. In exchange for free value from you, your leads is giving you permission to engage in future conversations… just like in dating.

Start the relationship off right by letting your leads earn a small victory for just a tiny but of commitment.

This way, you can effectively communicate your point without sounding creepy or demanding too much time, ensuring your lead doesn’t move on before they can even become a customer.

[RELATED: Why No Small Business Owner Should Be Doing Their Own Digital Marketing]

Good marketing is about making friends.

What you want to do instead of being a creepy marketer is build a relationship, just like you would with a new friend. And when the customer is ready to buy, you’re right there, ready for them.

creepy waiting

Well, preferably in a non-creepy way.

Don’t feel like you have to go it alone, either. There are lots of professionals who are great at holding people’s attention without turning people off. The key is to make sure they’re not one of the creepy types… and be careful because creepy marketers are everywhere.

If you’re a small business owner and you’re thinking about hiring a professional digital marketer (and we strongly suggest you do), here are a few tips…

  • Find out how they plan on being clear and concise when discussing your brand, values, products, and services.
  • Ask how they’ll appeal to leads and customers through engaging content.
  • Inquire into their processes or workflows for acquiring leads and converting them into customers.
  • See if they plan on nurturing the relationship slowly or if they’re more interested in things like “big launches”.

Again, the goal here isn’t to get a quick sale… in fact, most big sales don’t happen right away.

The point is to nurture a lead long enough that you convert them into a loyal customer and keep them coming back for more. If you try to sell something too early in the relationship, you’re going to turn people away.

So take it slow. Wine and dine your prospective customers by creating great content, getting to know them a little bit (or at least getting to know your target market). When the time is right, that’s when you can ask for the BIG sale.

Though you might want to wait until well after the ninth date to propose.

And if that sounds way too hard to do yourself, fear not… we know where you can find excellent, affordable help to start marketing the right way, right away.

Three Dog Digital Team

We handle your digital marketing so you can focus on running a business. Because NO small business should be wasting precious resources doing their own digital marketing.