There’s an old saying that all that glitters isn’t gold. It’s a reminder that sometimes things can look like the real thing, but are actually just fool’s gold. But, what if what you are looking at really is gold?
It’s hard to turn on the television without being bombarded with gold investment commercials or infomercials. There’s no debating that gold has had a tremendous run lately, but is it really a sound investment at these levels? It wasn’t that long ago that these infomercials were about no money down real estate investing courses. Like the sirens singing to Ulysses in the Iliad, the call of these marketers draw in a certain group of people who desperately want to believe in their path to financial freedom.
Very Sparkly, Definitely Sparkly
Seth Godin recently wrote a blog talking about this very topic entitled Who is Easily Manipulated? I was a little surprised to find myself in some of the behaviors he lists.
The easiest people to manipulate are those that don’t demand a lot of information, are open to messages from authority figures and are willing to make decisions on a hunch, particularly if there’s a promise of short-term gains.
The post is a great read, and I’d encourage you to check it out as Seth expands on this topic and explains why it is so easy to manipulate people.
Marketing Without Morals
The reason that we see so many of these infomercials out there is that they are very effective. Seth puts it this way …
Manipulating people using modern techniques is astonishingly easy (if the marketer has few morals). You only make it easier when you permit people and organizations that want to take advantage of you to do so by allowing them to use your good nature and your natural instincts against you.
I wonder though if sometimes we, as entrepreneurs, fall into the trap of marketing these types of products because we have fallen for the sales pitch ourselves?
The Ethics of Sales and Marketing
Drawing the line in the sand where our marketing efforts become the unethical manipulation of people is not always as black and white as it may seem. We’ve explored this issue many times on this blog, and had some great conversations about it.
Here are some of the posts you may want to check out if you missed them.