Part 2 in why maybe you shouldn’t trust marketing blogs

There have been many studies showing Marketer’s are trusted less than Used Car Sales People. And deservedly so. Why would you trust people who do not care about honesty, accuracy, or reality. Especially so they can make money? I feel we should care about what we publish, what we present to clients. Yes making money is the goal, but clients come first right? Oh wait that is why in Advertising they never tie awards to successfully selling product.
Chris Voss has a pretty well read blog. Randomly this post with a Twitter Infographic was tweeted:

I hate Infographics. They are almost always filled and riddled with errors. So I won’t post any here. The issue I had with this one is stated that there is 175mil Tweets per day. Oh and also 33 Billion Tweets per day. When I asked Chris why he would post a graphic with false data here is his response:

So basically Chris is telling me it is ok to publish false content and that facts are not important and that I should get a life for wanting to have accuracy in reporting. But I bet if I slandered Chris and said he sleeps with goats and steals money from kids lemonade stands (allegedly) he would be upset that my content is not accurate. Would you hire someone who doesn’t care about telling the truth?

This is why people do not trust marketers. Too many of us bullshit out of our asses….like Chris. Want to know what is even more stunning? 1,200+ idiots retweeted this deceptive and inaccurate infographic. Makes me really proud of my peers.


Seth Godin created a minor storm this week. He was taken to task and quite humbled and accountable with his response:

I also bring up Inforgraphics in this post where Ad Week had a horrible one on Mobile.

About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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27 Responses to Part 2 in why maybe you shouldn’t trust marketing blogs

  1. Jenn Whinnem says:

    That is a really lame comeback on Chris's part. "I published crap data but YOU'RE the one with no life." Come again?Getting defensive on the internet is a waste of time. Time that could be better spent fact-checking.

  2. Bill Dorman says:

    Hey Howie, now you have 12 readers; rock on. Why don't you do an infographic on it? Nobody is going to check your math because every one knows you are smart like that….Are you flattered I came by? If so, go ahead and say it….

  3. Chief Alien says:

    I agree with you 100% Sean. When I see bad Infographics they often want to use the imagery to impact…..often fibbing to ensure the impact is there.

  4. Chief Alien says:

    I am so flattered you came by Dan. You must be thinking 'So glad I am a film maker we still have a prestige!'Thus the rise in Pinterest and Tumblr

  5. Steve – I agree with you. Infographics are fantastic ways to convey complex data and information, when done right. The problem is they are almost never done right. Instead, they are used with mind-numbing frequency as cheap link-bait.

  6. Dan Perez says:

    Howie,It's all part of the dumbing down of society in general (thanks, social media!). People don't wanna read anymore, they want to just look at pictures (infographics). They don't care that the information on many of these infographics are incorrect or even absurd, they're just happy thinking they actually learned something without having to do much reading.The fact that Voss' brutally elementary observations on social media can pass as expertise leaves no doubt in my mind that the Mayans had it all timed out just right.Used car salesmen rejoice!

  7. Danny Brown says:

    Yes. Yes you do. You need to move to WordPress. Let's talk.

  8. Danny Brown says:

    Seems a certain Mr. Voss could do to learn a thing or two about handling criticism…

  9. Ken Mueller says:

    This is awesome, and yes you need Livefyre

  10. Chief Alien says:

    Hi SteveAs I told Davina I think they have great visual impact and often tell good stories. But I have no idea why but almost always there is big fibs. I am going to link my post about AdWeek claiming 85% of all children 15 and under have cell phones. Not just bloggers doing this!

  11. Chief Alien says:

    Hi ToniaI mentioned this in my responses above. I am posting how Seth Godin handled something this week which is a great role model for this stuff.And yes we often take stuff at face value and then share things. And I get when consumers are gullible and snowed by marketers but we shouldn't be ourselves.

  12. Chief Alien says:

    I mentioned above I wish he would of just said 'Wow I didn't notice that. I will update my post to say some of the data is not correct, thank you for catching that'.

  13. Chief Alien says:

    Hi Davina!Yes I am going to link my post from last summer about infographics. They drive me crazy BUT they do look great!

  14. Chief Alien says:

    I would have been ok with Chris saying 'You know I didn't really check all the data and maybe I should have'. Vs just saying he defers blame to his source link.

  15. I don't share your enmity of infographics. I like infographics because I think they can be a great way to engage in visually storytelling, assuming they are factual. Sadly, most of them, perhaps to your point, are a vomit of random data that imparts little if any knowledge to the viewer. As a blogger I publish information that I believe to be correct and factual. However, as an unpaid activity I don't usually have the bandwidth to fact check everything beyond a cursory review. So, unlike an organization that has staff and resources to ensure accuracy, bloggers need to support readers when it helps clarify the veracity of information. If we bow to the pressure of speed that the Internet fosters, but eschew the advantage of many eyes, crowd feedback, and the ability to correct mistakes quickly, then that is a disastrous trend indeed.Not knowing his thoughts on this issue it's hard to say why he responded to you that way. Maybe he had a bad day, or was still waking up and hadn't had his coffee, but it seems that a great opportunity was missed by Chris' dismissive response to you. So, instead of adding a clear update acknowledging the new information, and thanking you for bringing it to his attention, Chris choose to belittle and make a petite personal attack. I hope that Chris takes a chance to share his side of the story, or if after a chance to reflect he realizes he was rash in his reply (I know I am guilt of such transgressions in the past) that he says so here on your blog.

  16. Chief Alien says:

    I need livefyre! Thanks for the comments Danny!

  17. Chief Alien says:

    I am updating this because of a nice post from Punk Views on how Seth Godin handled an improper post.

  18. Tonia Ries says:

    No, you can't necessarily fact-check every source before posting or sharing content. But if someone points out a glaring mistake like this…why wouldn't you want to let your readers know? I really don't get it – why would anyone be ok with posting wrong information, having it pointed out, and then leaving it up without a correction? Am I naive???

  19. Danny Brown says:

    You mean $47 webinars, right? 🙂

  20. Infographics are the malternatives of the information sharing space. They're a weak substitution for what really matters.

  21. Matt says:

    Infographics have their place, but I would submit that the term "infographic" has been as highjacked as the term "conservative". Putting a design wrapper on a glorified Excel spreadsheet is NOT an infographic. Presenting numbers in a graph that's in a funny shape. Also not an infographic. That said, the larger issue here, to my mind, is basic due diligence and taking ownership for your abilities or lack thereof as a content curator. When you get down to it, this is no different than a NY Times editor publishing a story that's inaccurate.Adding social to the mix, I view it as a lack of respect for one's readers.

  22. You know I like the pretty of infographics; can be a nice way to share data visually. But I seldom see the marketing, branding value of creating them. And now, I must confess – I'm not sure I've ever paid much attention to the data, other than notice that by the time it runs the footnotes and stats are already several months out of date. This is good food for thought, I'll pay closer attention next time I share one. FWIW.

  23. Lindsay Bell says:

    And Danny takes it for the win. 😉

  24. Wow. What a fantastic rant. Yep, you're right. Never Lie is one of the first things I learned as a young un. I stuck to it even AFTER I became a Marketer.

  25. Danny Brown says:

    Playing Devil's Advocate, your points would be more valid if you didn't hide behind an anonymous ID. For all anyone knows, you could be Chris himself.Just a thought.

  26. Danny Brown says:

    The beauty of social media is it inflates ignorance and laziness. Should he have checked the facts before running the graphic? Ranges between "yes" and "maybe" (if I look to the bottom of an infographic, and see resources I trust cited, I'll generally accept the info to be correct). However, asking someone if questioning the validity of a report is time well-spent shows the questioner in a pretty poor light. What, we now have to be submissive robots that accept everything? Meh.Mind you, Chris Voss has numerous Twitter accounts saying "This content is awesome, check it out!" and they all point links to his Chris Voss Radio show, so that says it all, really, about questioning advice. 😉

  27. Anonymous says:

    devils advocate here – there are days when i have pushed out 400 tweets – not for marketing either but as personal tweets to friends or general info on my day, esp if i am covering an event. as for your banter with Chris, you came on the defensive, he answered you with the facts. you went at him again, he came on the defensive… anyone would. You're both right though – people RT stuff without even reading it, but people that use data dont have time to check all sources for accuracy – hell even newspapers dont do that anymore.. if he provided a link to the data – as he said take it up with the person who created it.

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