Yesterday, I went to a free seminar all about internet marketing. Digital marketing is one of those skills that must be kept up to date. So what's 2 hours of my life to update my skills for free right? Now I was pretty sceptical, when looking on meetup, I realise that the same event happened weekly. I thought " I bet this is just a giant, scammy sales pitch." But I went, because the comments a few weeks before had said "great session, took a lot from this, not too pushy on selling" .... which session had he been to that I definitely didn't?
My first job out of school was sales, with morning/daily training that was drilled into our heads. Because of this, I would like to think that I can see passed the basics of sales. I could see right through this session like a piece of well-polished glass. That is not to say that the whole thing was terrible. A few people beside me were taking notes and seemed interested. Maybe my level was above this session and I felt I could have got the same information in half an hour of online research, minus the sales BS.
For example; The last point made was that your website must has testimonials. (I guess I should take that tip on board). "Here are some examples of what your testimonials should look like" he said. He then proceeded to play a 2 minute (felt a lot longer) video of testimonials from their website, of their own course. I felt like I was being forced to sit through testimonials I was not interested in.
Before we were released he brought out the big guns. The "Advanced training" slide. I guess if we are going by the book a bit of FOMO sales can be included. (Fear of missing out). "So only for a few of you, I am going to get you to stay back, yeh, and we can talk advanced training, not all of you, just a few. Just the few who really want to learn" (queue the "let's talk about the courses at our school. "For others who don't think this is for you, you are free to leave" (I think at this point I ran out so I didn't vomit in front of everyone).
I did take a few small things away from this session, very small... but mostly, I spent the time looking at their logo and wondering how in the world that thing is allowed to be in public?!!
For an internet business school, a digital marketing university as such, should branding not be one of the tops of their list? I don't understand it.... A company that is making a lot of money; The head guy who founded the company is one of the best in digital marketing (So I was told continuously for 15 minutes into the talk). How has he not considered how bad his logo is.
The thing is, there was a trend. The powerpoint presentation slides were poorly done. Presumably from an intern or the speaker whilst he was having dinner five minutes before presenting. It was stock imagery of the most obvious kind. Brandless (although see above for reasons why). There was no consistency in where the imagery and text was placed and the entire powerpoint presentation did not flow. I have seen speakers who are not trying to (so obviously) sell me things, have better powerpoint slides.
And then I found the answer in the midst of this sales pitch/presentation... "You can outsource anything yeh, anything, for so cheap yeh". (He said yeh a lot). "I tell you what, you know that $5,000 website you bought, well I bought the same thing for $100" He says... Ahhhh now that explains your logo! I thought to myself. Who is doing websites for $100 and why, if they have the same quality as the $5,000 are they not charging at least $500.
I understand the world of outsourcing, I won't lie, it's my enemy. An enemy that I am trying to make my friend, because you keep your friends close and your enemies closer or whatever. but there are limits, and that limit is bad design! and poor quality work! That limit, if not justified will bring your business down. Because no matter how good their course may be, my first impressions say salesy, unprofessional, lack of attention to detail and care and not well informed in the industry. Whilst none of that may be true, after all I'm told the guy who started the course is a marketing god. Whilst none of it may be true, that was my first impression. I am just one person, but this one person will be having nightmares for quite some time about that logo!