Why The Bait and Switch Fails Faster Now

The bait and switch never pays off (although Lucy from Charlie Brown might disagree.) Just when I thought I was getting good at avoiding them I totally fell right into a multi-level marketing (MLM) bait and switch. I thought a guy was asking for advice but he just wanted me to watch a video about some vacation-based MLM thing he’s part of. Pretty sneaky taking advantage of someone who thinks they’re doing you a favor.

It’s A Dumb Strategy
A bait and switch is a dumb idea if you think about it. It’s just delaying the inevitable response. If I wasn’t going to like your vacation video before I’m definitely not going to like once you tricked me into watching it. Or, if your product wasn’t as good as you claimed, I’m going to be even more upset when it breaks because of the very claim you made in the first place. 

The thing about a bait and switch is that it destroys trust. MLM’s are notorious for this but companies from well regarded industries do this too.

Getting people interested in something legitimately is what advertising and marketing are all about. That’s bait. It’s the switch that happens when the individual or the company knows their bait is a fake. That’s the whole problem. That’s the lie.

Why It’s A Bad Idea
The funny thing is there couldn’t be a worse time to be someone who does a bait and switch. People are more connected now more than ever. If a company does this thousands of people could potentially call them out on it on Facebook. If a person does a bait and switch on me I can write an entire blog post about it…and decide whether or not I want to name names.

Social media has empowered people to shine light in previously dark areas. Bait and switch tactics will fail faster than ever because of this. That’s one reason not to do it. The other reason is because if your character and reputation are important to you in the least, you won’t do it. I may have taken the bait, but I also switched what I think about you.

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Bill Seaver
Bill Seaver founded MicroExplosion Media in fall 2007 and has been blogging since June 2006. Bill has consulted numerous organizations to help them understand and apply social media into their marketing initiatives. He's led seminars, corporate training sessions, and numerous social media campaigns to include blog strategy and development, Google AdWords, podcasts, online video strategy, widget development, social media marketing campaigns, blogger networks, and social networking campaigns.