MLM’s Lack of a Marketing Plan

September 21, 2010 at 10:01 am (marketing, Networking)

Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called network marketing, is “designed to create a marketing and sales force by compensating promoters of company products not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of other promoters they introduce to the company.”  Wikipedia has a great description and details some of the controversies.

I don’t want to debate the legality or legitimacy, but I will share what I think is a flaw in their approach to marketing.

The MLM company representatives that have approached me all have one thing in common—they don’t distinguish the consumer from the promoter.   Personally, I have no interest in MLM as a career, or even as a “residual income” source.  So, please save the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” speech.  You lose me the minute you start! 

I may be interested in the products, but I’m not interested in signing on as a kool-aid drinking promoter. 

I propose that you start by qualifying your prospect as consumer or promoter.  Then, proceed with a customized marketing message.  It’s Marketing 101 (and common sense):  Understand 1) what you’re selling, 2) to whom, 3) what motivates them to buy, and 4) how do I communicate and deliver the marketing message.

If you’ve identified me as a consumer, focus on the features and benefits of the specific product that I am a prospect for.  And, please don’t ask me for my Social Security Number!  Have you heard of identity theft?  I don’t give my SSN to the drug store when I buy lotion; why should I have to give it to you?

Please share your thoughts.


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