But about a dozen of our posts recently received an identical comment, pumping up a management training company based out of Troy, Michigan. “They offer a 4 day fast track program and its incredible. I’m so excited about the value I got out of it, I’m going to every blog and posting this,” wrote a reader, who didn’t sign the comment.
The “commenter” turned out to be marketing coordinator for the company. When I asked him why he was sending this comment to a range of unrelated posts, he said “I was trying out a new method of marketing.” A new form of spamming, I countered. (He disagreed, calling spamming “some kind of virus.”)
I can only hope his employers disagree with his logic. Casting yourself as an excited customer of a company when you’re actually an employee doesn’t sound like a sound marketing strategy to me. It’s the kind of thing day one associates with day traders, trying to ramp up their shares in anonymous posts. It’s what got Mackey into trouble, too.
In an e-mail to me, he argued that “a lot of people, including myself, have gone onto blogs, and seen somebody referring to a company and clicking on the website if they were interested. It has worked for many companies, and I am shocked you aren’t aware of this.”
He goes on to condemn my attitude for asking him to stop (while inviting him to post real feedback whenever he wants). As he put it: “Keep in mind, as a marketing coordinator, it is my job to try new things.”
Using blogs to slip in a plug for your company is not the same thing as mass mailing deceptive comments. Let’s hope this is one marketing strategy that falls out of favor fast.
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