Does “Stupid” Marketing Really Work?

11 Apr

Today is one of those days when I’m fed up with “infomercials” telling me that I’m stupid in my in-basket! Do any of these self-appointed experts actually earn a living by calling others stupid?  I just know that I’m done with all the hype!

Not only is tax day looming, our unemployment rates soaring, and the economy in the tank, but now we’re bombarded with emails from ego-maniacs telling us that we’re stupid if we don’t buy their shortcut methods to fame and fortune.  (If it was really this easy to make millions wouldn’t we all be doing it?)

While it used to be simple to walk by the snake-oil salesmen at the county fair (our choice to attend after all), e-mail traffic has gotten out of hand. As an international speaker, I’m accustomed to international spam, but the American version seems to have supercharged in volume in 2010.  Here’s a sampling of Sunday’s infomercials (not including those filtered out by my spam-filter):

  • 2 emails from the same author: a) How to Make Maximum Profit with Minimal Effort; and b) How to make your fortune: Did you know that every great fortune in the history of the world has followed the same simple 3 step formula? You’re crazy if you’re not applying it to your business. It’s revealed in my bestselling book …
  • Only 3% of the world does this: How can only 3% of us do this? How can something that is absolutely necessary for success, be ignored by so many people?

To listen to these flash-in-the-pan economic evangelists — if you buy their program for $997. (the magic marketing number apparently) — you’ll be rich. What I wonder is  if these are such tried and true methods, why are they still working (and not investing from a villa in the Bahamas) – and why are they so selfish as to not “give such important information” to Wall Street or the Government?   The answer is that they don’t have the answers – they seemingly are making money by chiding readers into believing them (we are stupid and they are not, blah blah blah).

How do you feel about “stupid” marketing?  Does it work on you? Have you bought a program or CD’s promising to change your life and been disappointed?  I love that there is a delete key so close at hand – but hate that it takes my effort to figure out what is real versus spam emails in my filtered in-basket.

I hope you have a good week and get over the hump-tax-due date.


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at or or visit for details.

Copyright 2010 Carol Dekkers – All Rights Reserved ———————

3 Responses to “Does “Stupid” Marketing Really Work?”

  1. L-Lysine : Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    sales jobs are always in demand but you have to be a good sales person to maintain your job *


  2. Bill Ravensberg Monday, April 12, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    Hi Carol … I like that … “stupid marketing”.

    I always figure that these electronic snake-oil sales jobs are how they get rich. They get you to pay them and the real answer is not in their wares; it’s preying on people willing to give them money.

    Unfortunately, many are looking for the quick win.

    It’s amazing how many people give $$$ to these cons. It’s almost the same with how many people click on links in emails from unknown senders. I don’t remember the numbers but I remember being amazed at how high it was for the number of people that still do this and end up with all kinds of problems on the PC’s.

    The snake-oil sales cons will continue as long as there are people that will buy into their sales pitches.

    It’s unfortunate because I think that all this crap that is clogging up our emails and the internet are interferring with a lot of effective and productive things that could be going on.

    Have a great, snake-oil free day!



    • caroldekkers Monday, April 12, 2010 at 11:47 am #

      Thanks for your comment Bill. You always have additional insights!


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