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A recent response to one of my blog posts got me thinking about the concept of notoriety. Does my company push the envelope with regard to Internet marketing strategies? Hell yes! But we normally end up backing up somewhat until we find the middle ground – that area where our techniques can see results, but not get us in trouble. We don’t just do it for fun. It’s our job to learn what works, and then use that knowledge to our clients’ benefit.

But the fact remains some of the things we talk about involve strategies shunned by very mainstream marketers; strategies that some consider to result in “spam.” In a way, we are creating a sense of notoriety for ourselves by revealing our envelope-pushing techniques. And it is attracting attention. And it is earning us new clients.

It is a bit analogous to what the new head football coach at the University of Tennessee, Lane Kiffin, has done in his first few months on the job. If you are a fan of college football, then you already know the story. Lane has made many comments that have angered fans and administration of other SEC schools, he has committed a number of minor recruiting violations, and he has created all kinds of negative press about himself.

He has also shined the national spotlight on UT football (where it hasn’t been in a long time) and has gotten many top-notch recruits considering UT. Certainly, his success will be judged based on the performance of his team on the field. If they don’t win many games, then all the other stuff will be pointless. But purely from the standpoint of getting the attention of national press and potential recruits, his controversial style has done the job.

This approach may not be right for your company. You may operate in an industry where you have to have a squeaky clean image and you have to do things a certain way. But if you are in a position where the things you say can influence the buying decisions of potential customers or clients, then it may be beneficial to you to go against the grain. Get some peoples’ attention. Piss some people off. Clients can’t hire you if they have never hear about you and don’t know that you exist.

Here’s a link to an interesting conversation about the merits of aggressive blogging for law firms: http://lawmarketing.ning.com/profiles/blogs/an-advanced-blogging-strategy