Debunking Pseudo-Scientific Marketing Claims with Mark Buckshon

Construction marketing impresario, Mark Buckshon, is someone I respect immensely and have corresponded with online several times. He was kind enough to reference some things I have written in his blog recently, and while I would be more than happy to return the favor, this article stands on its own.

Mark tells a story about his annual battle with allergies. His doctor denounced some commonly held beliefs about food allergies stating that they are “not evidence based. It is a marketing ploy to get you to buy stuff, like wheat-free products.” As a life-long skeptic, I applaud Buckshon’s bravery for publishing this. His point in bringing up the story was to debunk some equally dubious claims regarding new marketing techniques found in a solicitation he had received:

The marketer offers a referral program for his monthly service, which means, if I pitched it and you purchased, I would get a cut of the money.  But I hesitated.  Where is the evidence that this stuff really works?  Can I rush out and recommend it to you right now?  It seemed, to me, one of the litany of sign-marketing programs, dating back from the days when marketers would sell low wattage radio transmitters, which you would access after seeing the sign, or technologically much more simple “Take One” boxes, where you can place your brochures, business cards or other printed marketing material.

However, the “where’s the evidence that this stuff really works” takes on a bigger meaning when you realize that the marketers should have no trouble providing evidence of effectiveness for the SMS or QR Code approaches.  After all, software should be able to quite clearly track the number of “hits” and inquiries and conversions. So, why isn’t this marketing service provider giving us that kind of data?  Maybe, I fear, because the results would not impress anyone.

The moral of the story: don’t believe everything you read.