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Does the content match the cover?

Measure credibility with an online content match

Why do I keep running into this guy?

Lately, I’ve been attending a number of meetings, networking events and business gatherings and I’ve met a lot of interesting and fascinating people.

Many of them are pursuing some amazing ventures with passion and a clear vision. Others, who describe themselves as being “in marketing“, talk an interesting game and profess to have lots of experience and success.

But what’s enlightening is that when you crawl under the hood and begin to examine where and how these people are engaged in the new world of marketing, quite a different picture is revealed.

For example, when you actually look at their presence online (if they have a website!!), their branding, value proposition, examples of their work or social media posts and participation, often things don’t exactly align with the perception that they’re attempt to create in person.

No where to hide.

A quick search review of their page rank, the quality of their blog posts (if they have a blog!), their social media followers and post frequency provides valuable insight on whether a so-called experienced marketing expert is “walking the talk” on how a brand can succeed in today’s dramatically changed environment.

For those that profess to be “in the know” on how to help companies increase profits through “results-oriented, effective marketing” and “disciplined, structured selling“, it’s more than reasonable to measure their credibility by assessing how they actually measure up to what they’re preaching to others.

The good news is that it’s now easier than ever to expose who’s posing with just a little research online. And it makes it even easier to find the resources and providers who are investing in and adapting to the continually changing dynamics of the Internet and how to maximize its potential to help a business succeed and grow.

The Kimono is always open.

Today, everything matters and everything a brand or resource does is now transparent, searchable and measurable online in more ways than ever before.

As Chris Brogan, New York Times best-selling author and president of Owner Media Group writes:

Your branding isn’t a logo, the same profile pic everywhere, a catch phrase, or a theme song. And it isn’t a clever little ploy. It’s a whole package and storyline with a credible promise and symbols.

You may be in business. But now you’re in marketing.

The new requirement that every business must address today is creating and distributing content of value for a target audience with a unique, clear and consistent online presence. The result is that there’s nowhere to hide for those that aren’t engaging, growing and experimenting with the ever-evolving tools and techniques of online marketing.

And what about you?

Have you come across these “experts” who are all talk in your interactions? What tips or techniques do you use to quickly evaluate a contact’s credibility.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how you expose the “hot air” bags.


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  • Gary Ferguson

    Paul, you have a unique ability to cut through the BS straight to the bone. Now, more than ever, we all crave authenticity, a substance more valuable and rarer than Unobtainium. Some times, wouldn’t you like to grab some marketing guy by the neck and command him, “Just tell me something that is the whole truth.”? Seems like everyone’s out to zoom you and get in and out of your pockets as quickly as possible before you know what’s happening. Perhaps I am just getting cynical. -Gary Ferguson

  • Bret, Thanks for your comments. Like you, I really appreciate the new ability to uncover the posers. And anyone in marketing that isn’t participating and demonstrating how they are adding value with the new marketing tools deserves to be dismissed faster than ever before.

  • Yes! And what about the “social media experts” who auto-tweet and SPAM you with free download offers at every turn? Or only tweet and “regurgitweet” (RT) their own stuff? 

  • Gary,

    Thanks for your supportive comments. Like you, I hate BS. And marketing has never been short of that commodity.

    But seriously, have you checked your LinkedIn community and just looked at the so called “marketing experts” profiles to see who actually has a web site or blog? It’s amazing how few actually have this one fundamental in place. So why would you listen to or even consider their services or advice?

    Just saying’ that’s what I see. And the good news is that now everybody else can see too.

  • Bret Waters

    Great post, Paul. Part of being successful in business has always been to be good at “bs detection” – you meet someone who claims to be an expert at something, and you need to be able to do a gut-check on whether this person is the real deal or just one of the many pretenders. Fortunately, online tools today give us the ability to quickly look someone up and see something about their credentials and background. When I meet someone today I usually immediately look them up on LinkedIn. If their LinkedIn profile is filled with fluff instead of substance, I move on. I don’t have time for pretenders.

  • Kat. Love your comment about the “regurgitweeters” who just spam all day about their own stuff. Best to you and thanks for sharing.