Marketing Mistakes: Is Your Arrogance Enraging Your Audience?

By on February 11, 2013 / Social Media / Leave a comment

If you make some marketing mistakes, people simply won’t notice your company. But if your marketing mistakes include acting with arrogance, your audience may cease to be prospective customers and become active haters.

This phenomena is best illustrated by the popular and notorious question-and-answer website Quora.

With strong traffic flow and plenty of solid information, Quora can be useful to B2B marketers who want to interact directly with their target market and demonstrate thought leadership. Yet, Quora frequently finds itself the subject of blistering tear-down articles, written by authors who seem to root its failure.

For example, the latest major criticism comes in an absolutely scathing email from an anonymous author — allegedly a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, although the names have been redacted — which has become a topic of discussion around the Web.

Who wrote the email is less important, though, than why Quora hating is so popular.

Question: Why do so many people seem to love to hate Quora?

Answer: Its perceived arrogance.

Avoid these three arrogant marketing mistakes to avoid having your audience rooting to see you fail:

Asking for Contact Info Without a Clear Need

If you visit Quora.com and you don’t have an account, this is all you get:

 

There’s no sneak peak or test drive to see if it’s something you’re really interested in. Why should you hand over your contact info to Quora? It has told you almost nothing, and to make matters worse, in creating an account, you’ve automatically agreed to receive email messages and posted a notification to the social media account you used to sign up.

What this says to your audience: If you want any information at all from my company, first you have to hand over some personal data.

Example consequence: Quora and Bad User Experience by Jilles van Gurp.

Avoidance action: Make sure people have as much information as possible before you ask them for anything. Explain the benefits of signing up and summarize content before you throw a contact form at them.

Charging for Something People Can Get Free

This is especially true when you’re asking for someone’s contact details in exchange for information. The only experience that many people with have with Quora is as the result of a Google search on a question that leads to a related Quora thread, where they find that Quora blurs all but the first answer.


What this says to your audience:  You’re too dumb to know that this information is easily accessible elsewhere online.

Example consequence: This top-voted Reddit comment in a Quora-bashing thread: “ [Quora] is like the online equivalent of a gas station that charges you to use their bathroom.”

Avoidance action: Do your research before asking people for anything in return, even seemingly small amounts of personal information.  Strive for originality and quality.

Trying to Control Crowd-Sourced Content

Sharing user-generated content that comes through venues such as LinkedIn groups or on-site forums, is a solid content strategy. Quora user-generated content is edited by volunteer moderators for errors and writing style and usage.  Re-phrasing content and playing around with data can easily come off as presumptuous and pretentious. It also puts you at risk of altering its accuracy.

What this says to your audience: Despite your years of experience, our volunteer moderator is smarter than you.

Example consequence: Quora is Not For Normal People by Gini Dietrich.

Avoidance action: Moderate with a light touch. Often, it’s better to remove truly problematic content than to change it.

The Takeaway

It doesn’t really matter whether Quora is the greatest thing ever or if it’s doomed to failure. Crowd-sourced content — including blog comments and forum posts — is a powerful force, which can  have a positive or negative effect on a brand and its lead-generation efforts. If your content strategy involves people reading and writing about your business, be sure your marketing mistakes don’t include acting with arrogance because enraging your audience won’t lead to any more leads.

 

Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.

 

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