The Enemy of Marketing

Every hero's journey must go through an antagonist (enemy).

An enemy is sometimes a person, a situation, a challenge, or a zombie. Whatever that may be, there has to be one. So does marketing.

The enemy of marketing is the one that leads to total destruction, which is spending time, money and attention and getting nothing in return. Zero ROI.

The three biggest enemy in Marketing.

  • Full of oneself
  • Assumption
  • Perfection

Full of Oneself

The biggest sin in marketing is being a total dick.

When I was in school, I had a classmate who was full of himself. He wanted to exude dominance so he can lead the class. That strategy quickly backfired when we figure out who he really was, nothing but an empty can.

Here are some examples:

  • The No 1. in the World (even if you are)
  • The Fastest. The Strongest.
  • The World First Company doing this ...

It doesn't mean a thing to people.

People are not interested in you, but interested in what you can do for them.

What I do to counter Pride.

When you write a copy or found a marketing angle, write it on a piece of paper and fold it. Keep it in your drawer. Let it sit for 1-2 days.

When you get back to it, does it sound prideful? Pompous? or full of yourself?

If you still can't tell (even though it's a fact), then you need another opinion. Get your besties to look at it. Better yet, get your best customer feedback.

Most customers are happy that you value their opinion. Equally, everyone likes to be valued for their opinion hence 'brain child'.

Most importantly, be humble.


Jumping to a conclusion is not an exercise.

Long ago I started a small business, I made lots of assumptions. I assumed people wanted the product. I made everything, the website, the social media page, the blogposts, the product photoshoot, logos, and brand values. EVERYTHING was assumptions.

Only to find out nobody wants it. I lost a few thousand and hundreds of productive hours.

All marketing work is creative because you can't quantify it directly. Like the 'Just Do It' tagline, from 1-10, our rate differs.

That's why you need data.

Data will tell if people are buying, creating conversions, delivering value, people reading it, people's reactions and so forth.

What I do to counter Assumptions

Write 3-4 marketing angles, and run ads to the right target audience. See which one gets the most response. That's the horse you put your money on.

If that doesn't work, use the second-best, all the way down to the last one.

Similarly, benefits. When a product has 4 benefits, I run ads on a single benefit. State my claim and show my proof.

The key is to test often.

Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.

Albert Einstein


Perfection is God's business. We are human.

When I started out as web designer, perfection was my best friend. I was so obsessed with crips alignment, down a single pixel of the page. It was taking a toll on my relationship, time and attention.

Then one day I decided to limit down to 10% of time.

The result was the same.


While some design principles have to be obeyed, many are ignored. As long as it fulfils the following criteria:

  • No visual clutter
  • Perfectly readable
  • Enough contrast

What about studio photos?

I've tested both, phone and DSLR shot. Surprisingly phone gave better results.

That does mean you can be sloppy. There are other rules of photography you need to obey as well.

The point is, beauty doesn't create conversion, conversation does.

Overcoming Perfection

The goal is progress. Set a time limit, say 2 hours. That's all that you need to produce marketing material. When you've completed it within the time frame, ship it. Else delete the file and start again tomorrow.

Naturally, you'd ship it out because you do not want to waste 2 hours of your life.

Get some data and improve it.

Continuous Improvement is better than delayed perfection.

Conclusion, Enemy of Marketing

Full of oneself, assumption and perfection is the biggest lesson I learned in marketing.

We must remember that, at the end of every marketing message there is a person who wants to buy things to solve their problem and get closer to their goals.

And that's what marketing should do, entice people into buying.

ps: How was Eid? Did you have a good time?

A share would be, Sublime.

Hi, I'm Edwin

I'm a multilayer Marketer + Designer that helps businesses get more leads. My core skills are web design, SEO and Copywriting. I work at Web Design, Laman7

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