Marketing: Is It Destroying the Internet?

marketing the garden of earthly delights

Once upon a time, the God of the Internet, let’s call him Frank, plugged in an Ethernet cable and said: Let there be…something…let there be stuff…and lots of it…so people can come and find stuff and this stuff will abound and travel up and down very thin wires and across airwaves to houses where it will…just be…there!

And Lo, it came to pass…the internet and stuff was born.

And it was cool. Very cool.

For about 10 seconds.

Until someone, let’s call him Paulie (a bit of wise guy, if truth be told, with slicked back hair,a kipper tie and bad looking teeth) wondered how he could exploit this new world for financial gain.

Thence he decided, along with his friends, who were also wise guys, that they would make up an acronym or two, the most venal and hideous being SEO, which originally stood for Spongy Emus Ovulate but soon became the much dreaded Search Engine Optimisation.

Because that’s what marketing people do…they twist fine concepts and make them into corrupt versions of their dried up and cynical, hopelessly dead-eyed and brain-damaged, dark and damned selves.

They meddle, my ignorant friends, these kipper tie loving dark fiends of the digital hinterland. Oh, they just kept on making up acronyms, one a day at first, then two or more…till the world was filled to busting with them…SEM followed, PPC, CTR, ROI…and more was to come…RTP, ATI, DMP, and WOMM. They began bastardising the English language by mating previously happily single words with others to make hybrid words that turned the entire universe into a putrid, sorry mess: super-automated, hyper-baltic, pimple-rendered, robotic-bunkums.

Oh, people, let’s do some bluuueee sky thinking…let’s think outta dat box…let’s send the spaniel up the flag pole and see if it squeals Momma!

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There is a dark and insidious conspiracy going on, my friends. For marketing is not here to sell you things, it wasn’t born out of an altruistic desire to tell the world of the latest product that could enhance your sleazy and pointless lives. It isn’t here because we need or want it. It was created out of a blood soaked mire of twisted Bedlam inmates and malnourished penguin impersonators.

Marketing, my friends, was born simply to destroy the internet.

It is the devil’s work. Don’t believe me? Then read on, my friend. Read on and I shall tell you of the monstrosities committed in the name of digital marketing and why it has been allowed to flourish and bring mankind to the brink of destruction.

SEO

Spam

Repetition

More repetition

Automation

Repeat, delete, let’s develop a cloud strategy and piss on all the good people until we burn out their eyes with our rancid, ammonia ridden urine soaked…stuff!

Okay, so perhaps I’m going a tad overboard on this. Stevie needs to pull it back a little, take a breath, and maybe have a snifter or two of scotch to get his thinking straight.

Let’s get serious. I want to be serious, for a few moments at least.

Bad Pop-ups…the Devil’s automatic fecktards

It used to be, back in the days of yore, that pop-ups occurred when you’d not updated your virus checker (or didn’t have one at all) and just happened to go somewhere you shouldn’t or clicked a bad link. Then your desktop was plagued by everything from Big Tit Monthly to How To Get Rich By Having a Sex-Change.

Remember the good old days?

Then the God’s of the Internet developed programs that fought off these denizens of advertising evil and we all thought that was the last of it. We were safe. Weren’t we?

But pop-ups are returning. And no one seems to be bothered. I can’t go on a site nowadays without something popping up (forgive the innuendo) asking me to fill in a form or, worse still, subscribe with my e-mail address. Have marketing people forgotten how annoying these damn things are? Of course they haven’t; they JUST DON’T CARE.

Apparently, they’re not even called pop-ups anymore. It’s called ad bombing. According to Graham Charles on E-consultancy: “Poorly placed ads are spoiling the internet for millions of UK consumers, with 87% saying these messages regularly get in the way of what they are trying to view online.”

And it’s not just bad sites that are doing it. E-commerce sites for well-known brands have taken to it; even the Independent Newspaper has started doing it. It’s everywhere. And you know why? Because snug-fuggling-little-brain-dead marketing people are advising that it’s a good idea and that it will lead to more and better business. Because the little fecks have been checking the stats and…you know…it looks good.

On paper.

And we all know, stuff that’s on paper…well it’s not worth the…ummmmmm….

How marketing takes a good idea and turn it into dross

I’ve written previously on how marketing people got hold of guest blogging and turned it into a massive spam fest. If you want to read that less querulous rant you can find it here.

They’ve done the same with other things. You can buy a random selection of useless Twitter followers because marketing people think that it’s a good idea to have quantity and someone found a way to automate it and thus provide it cheap. Spam Bots too are the brainchild of some marketing retard somewhere out in the twat-o-sphere who decided it’s all a numbers game.

It is all a numbers game.

That’s the problem.

We have all ceased to be individuals and we have become statistics. We’ve become categorized and woefully pigeon-holed. It’s not merely the morally redundant who are up to it; it’s the big companies as well. How many algorithms does Amazon use to decide what we really want to buy? How does Microsoft know so much about us? Why does BT suddenly think we’d be interested in a new phone?

Why marketers are especially prone to bad habits

It’s a big, bad complex world out there and sometimes the poor marketing demons have trouble keeping up. Businesses do to. Then someone comes along with a spread sheet and then A N Other makes a “marketing tool” and suddenly everyone’s laughing and crying and joking.

The problem is that for marketers of all persuasions, the thing is just too damn big. What’s The Thing? Well it’s The THING. You know. Marketing. It’s just too damn big to keep up with. Things are always shifting. Ideas are changing. Markets are growing and then busting apart. And, on top of all that, there’s the Chinese.

Yes, the Chinese. You got to blame someone, right? Why not them?

I have this rather screwball narrow view of marketing people, thinking that they are all failed writers or failed artists or just, well, failures. A marketer will look enthusiastic, there will be a shine in his or her eyes when they begin to tell you how your SEO and STD can be all sorted with a few judicious tweaks here and there, or that they have put together this wonderful campaign that will see your DVL go viral…

But behind the eyes of any well dressed, immaculately presented, wise cracking and loveable marketing executive there is exactly this: NOTHING. They haven’t been there for a while, see. Not since they got that MBA in Social Media back in the day. Not since they put on that smart suit and had their teeth whitened.

Not since their damnable soul was sucked down into the bowels of hell and devoured by the Demon King of Marketing. Paulie. It’s all Paulie’s fault.

And there’s nothing we can do.

There really isn’t. Marketing will continue to destroy the internet and in the end all that will be left is a universe sized pile of steaming pooh that everyone will stare at and wonder how it all went wrong. Is there anything you can do?

Seriously, no, there isn’t. Marketing is the biggest most empowered force on the planet. It drives our daily lives and makes us happy with misery and it will not stop until we are all wearing plastic smiles and promotional t-shirts, stood in line for the coming apocalypse, a can of coke in one hand and an “I Love Wilkinson’s Nails” pennant in the other as we meekly shuffle off this mortal coil into the cold, endless dark.

On a brighter note, I leave you with a picture of a fluffy kitten…

Cute_fluffy_kitten
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12 thoughts on “Marketing: Is It Destroying the Internet?

  1. Gave me a laugh, thanks. think I will give up marketing now

  2. Laura Hedgecock April 8, 2014 — 12:21 am

    I love the ending of your post! I agree with your rants too!
    Laura Hedgecock
    http://TreasureChestofMemories.com

    1. Thank you, I love a good ending.

  3. You forgot to mention those horrible autoplay videos that start in a window you’ve left when you have 25 windows open and you don’t know which one to open to shut that video down so the sound won’t drive you nuts. So you surf with your speakers off. I’m getting to the place where I just leave sites that want to know all about me before I can even see if they are worth the bother. I never put those pop-ups or pop-outs on my sites. I believe in the Golden Rule.

    1. I’m not sure I’ve ever had 25 windows open at once, that’s some serious surfing!

  4. Tongue in cheek… but brilliant and spot on. A good example would be Twitter before and after IPO. The question is whether or not it will survive with its original DNA intact. I believe not. Regrettably, the founders and early investors have probably chosen the wrong business model, seduced by making a fast buck. Pinkers Post covered this on 20 Jan, ‘Nutty Twitter?’ The full article may be read on: http://pinkerspost.com/inout.php (please scroll down to 20 Jan 14)

    1. Thanks Angus, will have a read when I get the chance.

      1. Thanks! By the way, it was Antonia Oprita who alerted me to your site. She just contributed to Pinkers Post ‘Cake’s not worth the candle: Why CEOs should be paid less’ on http://pinkerspost.com/port.php

  5. You quote EConsultancy as though it has moral conviction – which in my opinion it does – but then you deride ‘spam’ and ‘automation’. Fair enough.

    However, you do realise EConsultancy does nothing but send self-promotional tweets via their Twitter account? Couldn’t that, in some circles, be classified as ‘spam’? Check their account, that’s literally all they do.

    See, when you make blanket statements such as these you achieve your end goal: attention. When I say this I mean it with the utmost sincerity: well done.

    However, you also lose the attention of the reader, because gross generalisations of an entire grouping of people, or an entire process, very rarely stand up under scrutiny. We’re all too long in the tooth to believe otherwise, surely?

    After all, this post in itself is a form of marketing. It’s click bait.

    n.b. as for pop overs (which is what I presume you are referring to?), tons of sites use them – big and large. Real marketers listen to their customers and their visitors, if they (popovers) were causing a poor user-experience, or frustrated users enough to the extent they bounced (left the site), then they’d take them down.

    GOOD marketers are among the most conscientious people you’ll ever meet, they have to be – they have to listen to their users otherwise performance dips. When they listening they stop doing their job.

    1. Cheers for the comments Gareth.

      In truth, it was a rather tongue-in-cheek article but you raise some good points. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with a generalisations if they make a point. I know there are reputable marketing bods like yourself out there but there are also some rather poor ones and they have a big impact on the reputation of the industry. Secondly, referring to my article as click bait sounds kind of sordid but I quite like it.

      And finally, pop overs are bad practice. The fact that tons of sites use them doesn’t make them any more right. I suspect that sometime in the not to distant future they will go out of fashion and be consigned to the same bin as spam guest blogs and keyword stuffing. That’s just my opinion, of course.

  6. A quality post that had me chuckling.

    You’re absolutely right about pop ups. Ten years ago they were demonised and if anyone asked for them you had a stack of good reasons why they shouldn’t go there.

    Unfortunately the quest for email addresses, leads and cold hard cash means you get an angel on one shoulder telling you they’re annoying and a blight on your user’s experience and a devil on the other telling you that without them you’ll be eating raw lentils for the rest of your life.

    I visited a handful of sites recently that wouldn’t let me access their home page without entering a postcode or email address into a pop up, now that IS an alarming trend.

    1. It seems to be growing, there’s a number of sites I’ve tried to access recently to write articles and come up against a brick wall…tres annoying.

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