Lies, Bl**dy Lies and Statistics

18:36 Wednesday Jul 30, 2014

by Terrence Bull


While measuring the success – or failure – of an advertising campaign through statistical analysis is good, when statistics becomes the reason for a campaign, something has gone horribly wrong.

With the advent of the Internet there have sprung up three new types of marketing: SEO, Social Media and Internet marketing. Or as I like to call them: lies, bl**dy lies and statistics.

We all know that the relevance of meta-tags died with the advent of Google in 1998 – so why are we still hearing how important they are to gaining ranking on search engines over a decade and a half later? Why has good client focused marketing been replaced with fiddling with the code of a website (which, by the way, makes so little difference to ranking on Google as to be irrelevant)? Why has understanding our target market and their wants and desires been replaced by the almighty Google search ranking?

Surely, even if our website is ranked at the number one position on Google for every relevant keyword in the English language, but has no useful information or does not ‘speak’ to our target market – attracting them to actually want to spend money – then we have failed! – yes? Is this truth only obvious to me?

Now I know that sales is simply a numbers game, but marketing professionals are not sales people! They actually influence a market place to WANT to buy our products from a sales person. They don’t merely inform, they indoctrinate their target market into believing in their brands and products. Marketing is about perception – yes? So perception is just another word for belief. Therefore, marketing is about changing our target market’s beliefs.

This is the art and science of marketing that was revealed to us back in 1923 when Claude Hopkins wrote The Science of Advertising. No the Internet has not change anything, it has simply given us new and improved ways to connect with, and communicate to, people – and to make money (including using automated systems that do our work for us). However, we still MUST understand the fundamentals of marketing and advertising to get the most from it.

No it is not simply about ranking on Google, how many followers we have on Facebook, Twiiter or our Blog, or the share volume of tire kickers we are attracting to our website. It is about building a long-term sustainable business, which can only be done though building a quality database of loyal clients – and it is about making money!

So don’t get dragged off into the world that Google and other online advertising mediums would have you buy into where the only thing that matters is the numbers of hits, views and clicks that your advertising gets. Instead, focus on building a clear CLIENT FOCUSED marketing strategy and a great set of systems that can deliver your products or services consistently and reliably (and in today’s world, this means a great website with loads of automated features) and then communicate that clearly and concisely – with a touch of creativity so that it stands out from the crowd. Now you are building a business!

If someone tries to divert your attention away from this, then simply move on and see their advice for what it really is – lies, bl**dy lies and statistics!


Terrence Bull is not an angry marketer, he is simply passionate about good marketing. He has over 30 years of marketing and advertising consulting experience on a global scale. He has run an website design and development company since 1998 - including inventing the original browser based, database back-end Content Management System (CMS) that almost all open source and propriety CMS platforms are based on - and his business,, services clients in over 35 countries worldwide.



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