Robot Marketing: The Curse of the Internet

I think modern marketing can be divided into two basic camps: human-focused, and robot-focused.

The human-focused type has been around for ages: advertisements, advertorials, billboards, and white papers. It’s all information designed to engage people with a product or service and compel them to make a purchase.

The robot-focused type is entirely new. Because of the internet, many companies make huge amounts of money by selling followers on Twitter, views on YouTube, and traffic to websites. Most of it is entirely artificial, and it only looks good on paper.

That’s not to say that the internet is a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the most amazing tools available to the modern marketing consultant (and his or her clients).

But businesses need to be careful about what they’re willing to spend their money on. SEO is great for generating traffic, but if the sales pitch is off, will that traffic truly matter? Having followers on Twitter is great, but if you have a few thousand bots retweeting you, will you improve your bottom line?

Another problem with this robot-focused marketing is that it has given birth to thousands of “marketing firms” without any real marketing experience. They are merely internet-manipulators. 

Again, SEO, web traffic, followers on social media, and views on YouTube are all great, but unless it’s part of a strategy to generate more sales, it simply isn’t marketing — at least not in any meaningful way.