Why Breaking Bad Could Have Been About Internet Marketing


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As millions of viewers said goodbye to AMC’s Breaking Bad last month, the entertainment press went to great lengths to point out how it was a story unlike any other we had seen in the past. While that might be true on television, those of us who have worked in Internet marketing for a number of years could probably relate to a lot of what we’d seen from one season to the next.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me be clear that I’m not suggesting that there is a small army of web designers and search engine optimization experts who are secretly making money on the side through the sale of illegal drugs, or even that they are leading secret lives. What I am implying, though, is that there are parallels that can be made between the story of Walter White and the way lots of people end up viewing their online marketing campaigns.

To see why that could be, consider two of the biggest morals that came front and center again and again during Breaking Bad’s television run:

First, that the path to evil is lined with lots of small compromises.

Most business owners and executives want to do the right thing, online or off. But, what they often find is that time and resources are limited, and so they are forced to pursue shortcuts to meet their goals. And so, inevitably, small compromises become big strategy shifts, and before long they are doing things they were sure they never would.

What kinds of online marketing “crimes” are we talking about? Stuffing keywords onto useless pages, copying content from competitors’ sites, outsourcing social media updates to third-world “specialists, and relying on template web pages are all good examples. They certainly aren’t things that the companies in question would want to admit to, but they seem like the most acceptable options at the time, and choices with little long-term risks.

And second, that taking the low road always comes back to haunt you.

Of course, when you make enough of those bad decisions, there are eventually going to be consequences – and when it comes to your business, those consequences don’t end when the final credits roll and viewers move on to the next program or commercial.

Taking Internet marketing shortcuts usually ends up with a combination of lost credibility, damage to the company’s search engine profile, and harm done to a hard-earned reputation that’s hard to rebuild. In some cases, companies go out of business entirely, or face legal action for misleading customers.

Regardless of the specific penalties, though, what is common about all of these situations is that they are completely unnecessary. If you do the right things when it matters most, even when you’re under a bit of pressure, you’ll never have to worry about the wrong decisions coming back to bite you.

Want to stop your online marketing plan from ending like a tearful television drama?

Image from Wikimedia Commons via public domain

Troy Henson
Troy is a master at inbound marketing. Prior to establishing his own Web Marketing Company, Troy managed multiple product lines for Cincinnati Bell bringing them millions dollars in yearly profits. His work philosophy is rooted in the principles of direct response marketing that drives ROI is helping make his current company successful.


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