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10 Marketing Diseases: Is your business infected by any of these?

Since I’ve been around the block a time or two—both as an employee for business, as a business owner, and in more of a partnership and freelancing relationship with business owners—I’ve seen a lot of businesses get “sick” with one disease or another. 

This is particularly common in marketing. 


Well, we live in a world where anyone can become a guru overnight. 

Where marketing interns write all the top-ranking marketing articles on Google (because the company they work for understands search engine optimization). 

Where anyone can start a business—and even a successful business—without truly understanding marketing. 

And a world where there’s more bad advice than good advice. 

So, I figured I’d play “doctor” today and give you a list of 10 “Marketing Diseases” I’ve spotted out in the wild. 

Let’s dive in… 

(The following list is not in any specific order.) 

1. Audience blindness: where you don’t know your audience like the back of your hand and often confuse yourself with your target audience. This leads to wasted time, declining sales, and poor return on investments. 

2. Content Constipation: where you have a bunch of ideas but cannot, no matter what you do, turn these into profitable pieces of content. 

3. Perfection Polio: Closely related to Content Constipation, this is where you’re so worried that every piece of marketing needs to be perfect that you fall into paralysis, releasing nothing. If this disease plagues your business long enough, your business will die. 

4. Clickbait Colds: Where you rely on using clickbaity and other forms of deceptive marketing tricks for too long, Making this mistake long enough exposes your business as the quack it is. 

5. Feature-itis: where your marketing only reflects the features of your product or service instead of the benefits.

6. Benefit Bronchitis: Similar to Feature-itis, but also much different. This is where you list too many benefits for your product or service without telling a story or focusing on the single, most important benefit, which only leads to confusion and inaction. 

7. Authenticity Allergies: This is where “fake it til you make it” turns on you—and your audience becomes more skeptical (and less likely to take action) because you lack authenticity and transparency.

8. Chronic Campaign Fatigue: where you rely on only a few advertising campaigns or general marketing angles, which work, but then lead to overexposure and diminishing returns. 

9. Mad Guru Disease: Where you believe whatever your favorite guru says without actually testing it for yourself. Even if your guru is a “good” one, they still don’t know the subtle intricacies of your unique business, offer, and market. 

10. Email Epilepsy: Where your entire email strategy depends on “sales seizures,” which simply means: You treat your email list like a one-night stand, only hitting them up for sales, without using the channel to further the relationship 

Each of these Marketing Diseases comes with a steep, and unique, cost. 

And I won’t get into all of the various ways these diseases can destroy your business. 

But awareness is the first step. 

If you find that your business is infected with any of these marketing diseases, I can help. 

That’s because email is one of the most potent antidotes for all the marketing diseases listed above. It won’t be the best cure for every single marketing disease (for example, the Chronic Campaign Fatigue disease is an advertising disease… but email, especially when done my way, can help reduce its symptoms even if it’s not an “email” disease like email Epilepsy). 

Worst part? 

Most businesses don’t suffer from just one of these diseases, but from many of them.  

The good news is your friendly neighborhood email doctor is here to help. 

If you notice you have one, or several, of these marketing diseases infecting your business, hit reply. And if we’re a good fit? Then, well, we’ll start working on curing these marketing diseases. 


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