Marketing Flatulence (and how to prevent it)

Before I start, I want everybody to know this is a serious marketing article and contains several timely reminders for business owners and marketers everywhere.  If you were offended by the subject line, trust me, there’s logic behind it so keep reading.

Last week, I took some time to go through a pile of direct mail that had accumulated on my desk and few hundred emails in my email account I use for opting in to various lists.

In less than 15 minutes, I had a serious headache.

The amount of noxious “gas” coming from much of this marketing was overwhelming and I literally was shaking my head at the sheer waste of it all.   Before me was an overabundance of ego-centric, “it’s all about me”, hype-driven “marketing” (to call it marketing is being generous).

And the even sadder part was that a good portion of it was coming from so-called marketing experts who fill my inbox with daily gas.

I’m referring to things like:

  • Mass-produced, impersonal direct mail which could have easily been personalized to the recipient.
  • Bloated, unfocused copywriting that’s focused on the writer and not the reader.
  • Putrid, hype-driven copy that reeks of deception.
  • An ego or corporate-driven focus instead of a laser-focus on the recipient’s pains and needs.
  • The need to show off, brag or use language you would not normally use.
  • Objectionable, unrequested emails (e.g. SPAM) from people who put me on their list without my permission.

This type of bad marketing is like flatulence… it stinks (think about it… what better way to describe this… this stuff?).

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz… oh what a relief it is…

If you’ve read this far, I know you never want to pass marketing gas and like the classic Alka-Selzter® slogan reminds us, there are strategies which allow your marketing to rise above this cloud and connect with your prospects and customers in authentic, integrity-driven ways.  Here are a few “antacid-like” reminders.

Have A Crystal-Clear Picture of Who You’re Meant to Do Business With
It’s a fact… you and your business are not meant to do business with everybody.  Your products and services. Your personality. The way you run your business. Things like these are meant to attract a certain type of customer, client or patient.  Embrace this important fact and work diligently at attracting your ideal customer.

Know This Person’s Pains and Desires
Once you know “who” your ideal target is, you now have to understand their pains and desires.  Ask them. Study them. Survey them. Get an intimate knowledge and understanding of what they are looking for and what they need.

Take a Genuine Interest in Helping This Person
Might sound somewhat obvious, but given much of the marketing I see, it bears reminding (and  I’m not just talking about helping by selling another widget).  I’m referring to a sincere interest to help those people you are meant to do business with to lead better, easier, more comfortable, more profitable lives.  You cannot fake this.

Align Your Products/ Services to Match This Person’s Needs/Desires
Take time to align the benefits and features of your products and services to match the needs and wants of your target.  Write out all of your features and benefits and literally connect them to the specific needs and desires.  Use this as a blueprint for your marketing efforts.

Study The Art of Pleasing Your Ideal Prospects and Customers
Putting a smile on somebody’s face each day is not hard, nor does it have to be expensive.  There are so many opportunities to go just a little bit further than your competition and differentiate your business. Unannounced gifts, handwritten thank you notes, personal phone calls – they all go a long way!

Focus On Serving – Not Selling
I forget who I first heard this from, but what a simple and powerful concept.  If you’re focused on serving (based on the first several ideas above), then making the sale is easier and more natural.  This does not deny or diminish the importance of selling – it simply puts it in the right perspective.

Keep It Real
I recently saw an interview with one of the guys from the television show, Duck Dynasty.  He attributed their amazing rise to TV stardom to the simple principle of “keeping it real.”  Whether you manufacture duck calls in Louisiana or sell pizzas in New York City, your marketing should reflect the real and true reasons you’re in business, acknowledge who you can best help and connect with people at a personal, authentic and emotional level.

Perform This Quick Copy Check
In your marketing copy, count how many times you use words like “I,” “me,” “my,” etc. in your copy.  While I’m not suggesting you remove these words completely, you must ensure the focus of your marketing copy is not on you, but on your target recipient.  If you have a lot of instances of these types of words or if the order is you first, look for ways to shift the emphasis from you to your reader.

My Contribution to Getting Rid of Marketing Flatulence
I’m very clear on who I am best able to help and how I can help them.  It’s a successful business owner who wants to become even more successful.  It’s a marketer who does good marketing and wants to do even better marketing.

I recently took one of those personality-driven, “how your customer sees you” tests and the result came back I was a “watchdog.” This means my customers know I am looking out for their best interests and guiding them with self-assured ideas and action strategies.  Amen.

One important way I accomplish this is with my SMART Ideas newsletter.  SMART stands for Savvy Marketing and Response Tools and helping business owners create better marketing is what I do best.  SMART Ideas is a a focused, no-fat print and digital newsletter, which helps marketers create better marketing by not only sharing powerful ideas and strategies, but also giving them the templates, graphics and more to implement them immediately in their business. If you’re not yet a subscriber, check out a special offer I have for you at

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Phil Brakefield on May 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Dead on, Mike. (As usual). The idea of focusing on serving customers to make them heroes, or erase a pain point, or make their lives better or easier in some way(s) is deceptively brilliant, and at the same time deceptively tough to maintain. We of the humanoid persuasion are relentlessly prone to focus on ourselves vs. others, and that simple fact can taint our marketing unless we keep the “customer needs” radar fully dialed up in everything we do.

    BTW, my SMART ideas subscription is my “customer needs” MRI machine that is always dialed up to 10. It is astounding that eight pages a month and roughly 15 minutes of my time consistently deliver a varied menu of customer-focused concepts that I can implement quickly and painlessly to serve my customers.

    • Mike Capuzzi on May 16, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Phil – thanks! I appreciate you, your phenomenal “promotional expertise” and seemingly never-ending drive to improve! Looking forward to seeing you in July!

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