Why I disagree with these 4 mad marketing statements

In the last few months I’ve read snippets of marketing advice that in my view are nonsense. So, I’d like to set the record straight in this blog by responding to 4 of the most ridiculous things I’ve read.


1.      You don’t need business cards anymore. Direct folk to your social media page instead.

Imagine you’re at a networking event and you ask for a person’s business card only to be greeted with this statement. You might be a bit surprised but take their advice at face value. But by the time you’ve returned to your office the chances are you’ll have forgotten their details because you don’t have anything tangible to remind you. Business cards still have a part to play in promoting you and your business. They’re fantastic when attached by a paper clip to your direct mail letters and they are an almost universally recognised currency. There are so many great designs today that you can promote your services, provide your contact details and include your social media addresses on the one card.


2.     No one reads direct-mail any more.

If this was the case, I think that most of my clients would shut up shop. It’s true, people don’t welcome junk mail – cheap flyers and poorly worded letters printed on tatty paper or catalogues mailed out on an indiscriminate basis with no thought to the profile of the recipient and their needs. But targeted direct mail, with a robust benefit driven message, an attractive and appropriate presentation and maybe an additional item to make it ‘lumpy’ is definitely holding its own and delivering results for all types of businesses – even web designers and search engine optimisation companies.


3.     Publishing a book means that you are an expert in your field.

The availability and increasing sophistication of self publishing has given many authors, me included, the ability to share our expertise for a low outlay, and with Amazon welcoming self published authors, publishing a book has never been so easy. But if your book has been written with the main purpose of acting as an extended business card, with little thought given to the quality and integrity of your content and the needs of your readers, you risk doing more damage to your expert status than good.


4.     You can’t sell your services or products on twitter

This is partly true. If all you did on twitter was blast out tweets trying to sell you would get short shrift and your followers would desert you. But a careful blend of useful tweets (sharing your expertise), engaging with your followers, retweeting their tweets and promoting your services is a recipe for building a positive online profile and for creating a demand in your services or products.


Feel free to post your comments of support or disagreement below.


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  1. Richard Morrow says:

    I have to agree on all four points. Yes of course I am biased as I work for a mailing house for point 2, but in all honestly, at times I am left speechless by some “new marketing” advice.
    We recently reprinted all new business cards, because they still work. I had a call from someone who had kept my card after networking and changed positions in a company, suddenly it was relevant. Why did I not socially stay in contact? It had been two years and he was in a different role. He looked on his desk, not his twitter feed for some help.
    Direct mail has not died, nor is it on its last legs. What has changed is how you use Direct Mail, generic, dull, poorly constructed mailings to cheap data, will no longer get the results that for so long justified its existence. However targeted, personalised, researched and creative mail shots will see a fantastic ROI. Combining DM with other mediums inc Social media works so well. Why people insist that a marketing tool that gives you something actual and tangible is dead is beyond me. Print tech has moved at such as pace, concepts that were mega expensive before can now be achieved at realistic prices.

    I love the book = expert line. Just because it’s been written and documented does not make the information any more relevant or correct. So many so called experts simply re hash other peoples work or just are badly informed, yet gain credence because they have published!

    I can proudly say that we have gained leads and business from using twitter. It’s about engaging with people, we used a group talk to discuss Direct Mail and then shared all the content with others, including our competitors. Result, people asking for our help. It is common sense and simple basic tactics. Give people something that is useful and relevant, don’t just tweet the same old stuff, engage, enquire and share.

    • dee blick says:

      what an absolutely fantastic well considered reply. I love direct mail and have generated £12 million of business over the last 30 years from it. Good for you! Keep flying the flag and conveying your passion and clear skills to help businesses with their direct mail. Thanks you for responding to my blog.

  2. David Wike says:

    As you’ve indicated Dee, it’s all about how we use these various tools. I’m sure we’ve all been at events where someone has rushed up, shoved a business card in our hand and moved on to the next person. If someone told me to look them up on social media I would consider them to be somewhat arrogant and I’d be very unlikely to follow up.

    Direct mail has to be pretty damned good to do anything other than annoy me!

    Recently I read two self-published, non-business, books on broadly the same subject. One used wonderful descriptive and slightly quirky language. I bought the sequel and have re-read both. The other was undoubtedly the worst written book I have ever encountered and led me to conclude that the author was rather patronizing as well as ill-informed.

    And then there’s Twitter! Well, I’ve ‘sold’ places at my speaker workshops. But perhaps that’s because I’ve engaged with people and got to know them beforehand. The clue is in the ‘social’ bit of social media.

    So it looks like I’m almost forced to agree with you Dee … again! Use tools well and you’ll have a good result. Use them carelessly and you’ll probably hit your thumb with the hammer!

    • dee blick says:

      David, how I love your replies and I hope it was not too painful being forced to agree with me! I am so glad to have met you in the virtual world and the real one too and hope that you will make the pilgrimage to Sussex for my book launch on 12th September….X