Inbound Marketing Rules, Cold-Calling Drools

Allow me to rant for just a second here. As both the manager of a high-spending online marketing department and a semi-popular blogger in the PPC space, I get a lot of random contacts. Some of these are good. People working on interesting projects ask me questions, and I either reply with some quick answers or refer them on to someone who can take them the rest of the way. Fellow online marketers reach out to me to get my opinion on something, and I value the chance to talk shop with someone working on the same problems. But then there are the salesmen. I really hate the salesmen.

Scumbag PPC Agency

Consider this. I have devoted my entire career to making marketing more efficient. Someone asks a question on a search engine, and I make sure there’s an ad there to answer that question. The user gets an answer to their problem via a non-invasive text ad, and I get a sale by providing a valuable experience. Everybody leaves happy. Compare this path to the one where you get stalked, harassed, and generally inconvenienced by someone blowing up your phone all day trying to sell you crap from a company you’ve never heard of. I have been waging a holy jihad against this kind of marketing from the day I wrote my first PPC ad. What makes you think I’m going to be affected by this kind of marketing?

In fact, I have made it my personal mission to eliminate cold-calling from the face of the earth. After working for a boiler-room PPC agency that engaged in some pretty shady tactics to get clients, I am extremely skeptical of any online marketing agency out there that I haven’t heard of. If your company is worth a damn, then you’re showing up at conferences, writing guest blogs, and participating in the PPC and SEO community. Anybody with an AdWords certification and a website can start an agency, so buyer beware.

Condescending Wonka on PPC agencies

It’s my general rule that if a product has to be sold via cold-calling, then it’s not worth buying. I have yet to be proven wrong in this regard. So please, if you have never personally interacted with me in any way, and your first correspondence with me is to sell me your crappy product, please stop. Just stop. I get enough cold calls enough as it is, and I can personally guarantee you that you will not get money from me. So stop wasting your time and mine.

Is anyone else getting this kind of crap too? Feel free to leave your own rant in the comments.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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