Counseling 101: How To Maintain Good Karma As A Marketer

When you are in the marketing industry, some veterans may tell you that you need to be prepared to make something seem good, even if it’s not. When I was rewatching The Big Bang Theory the other day, Penny (one of the main characters) talked about how her company’s new drug product had a 10% chance of causing a mental health disorder. However, she was never expected to say that to the doctors they were selling the drug to. Instead, she was supposed to say that it would give the patient a 90% chance of getting better.


I had to pause the screen and ponder about it. The reality was that marketing schemes like that were prevalent in comedic TV shows and real life. You would see all kinds of products on the market, but you would rarely hear their marketers talking about their harmful effects. Some people might insist on asking about those things, but the marketer might go as far as saying that it would be a little more expensive than what other brands could offer come up, but then they do a U-turn and try to upsell their goods again.

Why You Should Not Do That

I decided to build a marketing agency a few years ago. Various companies would contact us to help promote their products online or offline. My initial idea was to hire talented marketers because I assumed that they would know their clientele better than others at this point. They might even have some cool tricks under their sleeves to increase their sales.

However, during one of my surprise visits at our promo location, I watched first-hand how one of my marketers practically lied about the adverse sides of the energy drink we had on display. I would have overlooked it if it was sugar-coating, but they said it had zero side effects. Zero!


Most people who heard that went away from the booth as fast as possible. I could not blame them because it was impossible to get a perfect product, especially in the required decades of research. Even the best products that we currently have are still not excellent, and to claim otherwise was an insult to others’ intelligence.

Before I needed counseling for my mental health, I called everyone back to the office that day and gave them a lengthy lecture about maintaining good karma as marketers.

Be Transparent

The most fundamental way is to become transparent about the things you know about your selling product. For instance, if you are knowledgeable about its good effects, it would be great to emphasize. It would even be better if you could share scientific information about them.

Now, considering you have no idea what your potential consumer asked about, it would not be wrong to say that that aspect is currently under development. “Still, not having that in your current product will not diminish its goodness, so you should still try it.” This is much more recommendable than lying.


 Use Real People

Although it is good to have marketers on-site to explain a product’s benefits to people, it would also be ideal to hire individuals who have genuinely experienced the goodness of it. You may often see this scheme in holistic companies, considering their products and services may not always be proven by research. Thus, they need people to prove their value and essence to others.

Is this lying? Of course, it isn’t. Just make sure to put any effort into finding the ones whose lives genuinely changed for the better because of the products instead of opting for posers.

Admit Your Misgivings

One more technique that marketers should use is claiming the things that your product cannot do from the beginning. You may start with, “This is not for you if you can’t do this or that or you can’t have this or that.”


It may sound a bit negative, but such a disclaimer gives people a realistic expectation about what they can get from you. It would also allow you to filter through individuals who show genuine interest in availing of your products.

Final Thoughts

Karma can come in various forms when you are a marketer. The quickest one is receiving bashing on social media platforms. That’s terrible because millions of people may read disgusting comments about your brand. But what can be worse than that is a product recall or license suspension due to the falsehoods that your employees have been spreading. Either may push you to file for bankruptcy in no time, and that’s not ideal for anyone.

If you want to avoid negative karma, you need to stay truthful to your consumers. Be honest about what your products can do; be upfront about what they CAN’T do. Everyone will appreciate you for it – trust me.

Counselor Answers: How Can A Company Get The Best Employees?

I have been working for the same company for a couple of years now. I had seen many of my coworkers come and go after three months or so because they turned out to be unfit for the kind of job they applied for.

What’s the big idea, you might ask?

Some of them thought that it was easy to become a marketing strategy editor. I attended introductory meetings with those new employees, and they expressed that their trial tests were too easy. One of them was even smug enough to say, “I hope to be challenged soon.” Inwardly, I was like, “Chill, big guy. You’ll see a real challenge in no time.” And after a short while, I just learned that that guy got dismissed because he could not keep up with the rest of us.


Meanwhile, the bosses also gave a shot to people with completely different job experiences to bring out their natural talents. The issue, however, was that they did not set any bar at all, so they ended up hiring individuals who did not have a single clue about what they must do, no matter how many hours of training they had.

In the end, I became the only full-time marketing editor in the company, while the others were all part-timers.

The Bosses’ Big Decision

My direct superior, the head of sales and marketing, called me to his office one day for a meeting. I did a mental check on the things that I did the last few days and could not remember one issue, so I thought that was not why I was hailed. When I sat down, he asked how I was doing with my work, if it was difficult, etc.


“The actual job per se was not difficult. I loved a good challenge, after all. The problem was that there was just an inhuman amount of projects thrown my way at this time because I’m the only full-time marketing editor right now. But other than that, it’s all good,” I replied.

My boss nodded thoughtfully. He said, “I understand. Even I am having issues from my end because of the backlog, which is not your fault. It would be nice if we could have new editors to support you.”

“I agree,” I uttered.

“My counselor gave me something to ponder on when I met her last week. She told me that one possible reason why our editors could not last was that we allowed the HR team to train them, even though they did not know the full extent of the job. Hence, I would like to appoint you as the new supervisor of the marketing editor team. Is that something that you would like to do?”


“Oh, wow,” was all I could say. We already had managers, so I did not expect to get a promotion anytime soon. Granted, the supervisor role was a cross between my current job and the manager’s job, but it was still a promotion, so I immediately said yes when I got over my shock.

How I Did With My New Post

There was that initial doubt about my ability to become a great mentor for the new editors. After all, I had never taken on such a responsibility ever in my life. However, my project managers gave me their support and told me that there was nothing to worry about because I was the best person for that role, so I tried to remember that when I was already training the newbies.

Was it easy? I could not say that it was because the people that I trained had different skills. Some of them used to be book editors, while others were writers. But none of them experienced being a marketing editor in the past, so they all went through baby steps for a couple of weeks.


Was I harsh on them? Of course not – I was even joking with them. However, it became clear to those people that their jobs hinged on my approval when I started correcting their work without leaving any stone unturned. That made some of them straighten up and listen to me because they understood that I was an expert and freely shared my knowledge with them. You could hardly find that kind of trait in other successful people.

My Efforts’ Impact On The Company

My recruits turned out to be assets in the company. They followed my tips and instructions, and their works were almost as flawless as mine. We managed to hold on to most of them for at least a year. It was typically because of a personal reason and not because they got sacked if anyone ever left.

When I saw my boss again, he commended me for a job well done. I said, “Perhaps we should thank your counselor instead. If she didn’t point out that we need a subject-matter expert as a supervisor/trainer, we might not have thought of this.”