The Bad Boy Guide to Online Marketing

Online Marketin
Photo credit. Bad boy eye candy.

I have to admit that when it comes to romance there’s nothing more irresistible than a bad boy.

You know the type: he’s bold, opinionated, and lives on the edge. In a high school setting you know the bad boy is not dumb, because he could ace those exams if he really wanted to.

Instead he spends his time having fun, being wild, and trying new things.

That’s why chicks dig bad boys.

It’s also why customers buy from the “marketing bad boys” (and girls).

It’s just not enough to learn the basics of marketing and copywriting. You can learn all the pricing strategies, optimization tricks, and SEO skills you need… but unless you are willing to do things your way, your efforts will fall flat.

Here’s the thing, we’re all being marketed to on a consistent daily basis.

The only time we pay attention to an ad, a piece of copy, or a marketing campaign is when it speaks to that part of us that wants to live on the edge.

We’re tired of ho-hum. We want to feel alive. All of us do. We’re ready, and there’s nothing like the bad boy side of marketing to wake us up.

So what constitutes the type of edgy marketing I’m talking about?

I’m talking about fully committed, heart and soul, deep and dark marketing. Marketing that doesn’t skirt away from the realities of your customer’s life.

If anyone is willing to talk about the way he sees the world, warts and all, it’s definitely the bad boy. So why do we as copywriters and marketers sometimes try to sugar coat the issues we’re trying to solve with our products and services?

Why do we try to be the miss goody two shoes, who only talks about the positive results people will get from taking action?

It’s only when we address the real problems that people are facing today that we can ever hope to connect with them and solve these problems.

If someone is in the midst of a divorce and you have a solution for dealing with divorce, then by all means you need to get that into that person’s hands. No need to add a bunch of fluff around the idea that sometimes a divorce is a new door opening. People want don’t want to patronized, they want the truth.

The 8 rules of bad boy (and girl!) marketing:

1. Bad boys learn enough to understand the principles behind formulas and blueprints… but they don’t follow them step by step. Instead, they do things their way and make a splash.

2. Bad boys are not afraid to show their human side. If playing it safe is the norm, these bad boys and girls put themselves on the line, and they’re not shy about showing their personality.

3. Bad boys don’t just learn marketing from courses and products, they also talk to people who are in the industry. They get out to events and conferences and mingle with other bad boys and girls.

4. Bad boys don’t sit still: if there’s a market opportunity or idea that appears in front of them… they grab it. Instead of putting lots of pressure on themselves, they test and iterate on what works and leave the rest behind. They’re not afraid of walking out.

5. Bad boys are not afraid to get called into the principal’s office. They know their behavior will polarize, and they don’t aim to please everyone. Just the ones that matter: their customers.

6. Bad boys have fun. If working on copy, filming a video, or creating a product aren’t fun… they make it fun or they don’t do it!

7. Bad boys understand that to get the results they want, it sometimes means getting a C on an assignment. Sometimes projects flop, sometimes an idea is abandoned before it’s complete. But when they pull that all-nighter for that one class they love, they nail it and make it big.

8. Bad boys pay people to do their homework… if there’s something they’re not good at, they find someone who is good at it. They hire a team, or find a qualified pro, and get out of the way.

Who is your marketing bad boy/girl crush?

I’d love to know who gets your heart beating faster when it comes to online marketing? Why do you think they’re edgy?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Nathalie Lussier

7 Comments

  1. SavvyBoheme on January 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Brilliant viewpoint, clever girl! Love it… You are steadily becoming my marketing crush! Well done!



    • NathLussier on January 6, 2012 at 9:06 am

      @SavvyBoheme Aww shucks, thank you! :)



  2. tcmarketeer on January 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    We love the Nasty Ass Honey Badger repping for Wonderful Pistachios! Seriously, they understand the underlying value of the already-viral content that is the honey badger youtube video.



    • NathLussier on January 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      @tcmarketeer Ooh I think the honey badget video is just hilarious. That’s pretty cool to learn there are people aligning with that! :)



  3. laurasimms on January 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Enjoyed this, Nathalie. Especially about polarizing behavior and not pleasing everyone. Some folks are nice-ing themselves outta speaking to their people and finding an edge to perch on. Thanks for this!



    • NathLussier on January 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

      @laurasimms Yes! I think “nice-ing themselves” is exactly what most people do. (I’ve been there too of course.) Glad this landed for you. :)



  4. Ray Tamayo on November 13, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Fantastic Article Nathalie and you are correct people love a bad boy
    http://www.badboymarketing.com