No thanks, I have no soul.

by Michael Bernstein on May 02, 2017

What’s the thing we forget to talk about the most when we talk about marketing?

An article about how marketers shouldn’t try to manipulate users came to my attention today and it resonated with me: Stop Shaming Your Users for Micro Conversions

I had noticed the proliferation of these terrible buttons, but it wasn’t until I read this piece that it occurred to me: this is actually a trend. I thought — how does this happen?

Then I realized: the way that it happens is that there are things that we don’t talk about enough, including one very, very important thing that is summed up well in this quote:

“If you don’t have anything decent to sell, you won’t be able to sell it well.” - Ancient Marketing Proverb

The way that we end up with horrendous trends like attempting to shame users into doing our bidding is that we forget that the whole point of everything we do *is rooted in respect and admiration for our audience. *If we don’t have anything decent to sell, if we disrespect our audience’s time, if we jerk people around, we’ll earn the reputation that we’re currently fighting against.

To sum it up: as the people on the front lines of every product, it is your responsibility to write copy, run experiments, and make decisions based on a sound ethical foundation. To do anything less means you’re doing worse than wasting your time: you’re doing active harm.