Are You A Marketing Klingon?


In the “Star Wars vs Star Trek” debate, I’m a committed Trek nerd.  I’ve seen all the Star Wars movies and really, other than Empire Strikes Back, I think they are all mostly a bit “meh” – I genuinely don’t know what the fuss is about.  But Star Trek, I can quote episodes from all the series and I can happily do the Vulcan greeting with either hand.

There are four lights!

Today I saw an ad from some marketer I didn’t know on Facebook and his entire ad was effectively begging other marketers.  I clicked on his ad, hit his landing page and again, his whole sales page was talking about how crap gurus were and how he wasn’t like them.

The first thing that came to my mind was, “This guy is a Klingon.”

Some of you are probably sitting there wondering what a Klingon is.

To that, I say, Ha’DIbaH vIta’Qo’ val law’.  In English, that roughly translates into – your dog is more intelligent than you.

Oh dear, I’ve gone too far.

For those of you not familiar with Star Trek, Klingons are a warlike species who take great pleasure in insulting their enemies.  In the Klingon language, there are insults that are so rude that there is no English translation (ok, I know that’s weird).

And that was this guy, everyone was his enemy and part of building himself up was insulting other people.  He saw his competitors as someone who he had to destroy and insult them in the process.  It was all so aggressive, but not in a good way.

Your audience and your customers don’t want to see that side of you and it’s a really poor sales strategy.  Think about it like a car dealership – you don’t go to the BMW dealership and the sales guys rather than talking about the advantages of his cars starts talking smack about Mercedes.  People want to know what makes you better, not what makes the other guy worse.

Sometimes that kind of negative marketing can work to get people’s attention, but you really need to bring that back to the advantages you offer them.  Like every tactic, you need to use it sparingly and judiciously.  Unfortunately, this guy was so overt and persistent that it was really a turn-off.

Personally, I try not to talk about my competitors that much.  I don’t feel the need to use my time in front of my audience to promote other people, that seems wasteful.  I like to talk about how working with me, buying my products and subscribing to my Casual Marketer Monthly Newsletter is a positive experience.

I’m by no means one of those people who bangs on about “being positive” all the time – I think that over the top positivity is ridiculous in fact.  When you’re selling though, it’s all about giving your prospect a positive experience, solving their problems and moving them further along their journey.  You don’t get that message across by being a “Negative Nancy”.

So put down your bat’leth, grab yourself a bowl of gagh and sing stories of your glorious victories to your audience rather than insulting the petaQ in your industry.


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