Spotting the marketing thief

This is as much a post asking for advice as giving it and based on a recent problem I have experienced.
In a nutshell, I recently identified a prospect who was wasting money on unsuccessful marketing. He also had a very poor brand identity, performed badly in organic search and would have complimented Bath Marketing Consultancy’s client base due my sector experience. I approached him and we had 3 subsequent meetings lasting about 45 minutes each time and were really getting on.

He requested a formal proposal which I submitted identifying key strategies and initiatives over a 6 month period with costings…………..and he has now gone underground. Not only that, his pa has obviously been briefed to use the ‘he’s in a meeting’ line and he has blocked my number on his mobile. To top it off, the pieces of advice we discussed have been implemented………..not by me.

I believe that I am a good judge of character and this particular person never gave any indication that he was never going to engage me. However, it has become abundantly clear that he has simply used my experience and advice for his own gain.

In my numerous years in the marketing industry, I have come across certain people and situations where the personalities don’t work. In addition, there have been times when I haven’t won what I pitched for.

However, this is pretty much the first time this type of thing has happened and, in a small business community such as Bath, word can get around.

Are there any steps to prevent this type of thing happening? Do I name and shame the prospect in question to make sure he doesn’t do it to anyone else?

Advice would be much appreciated


3 thoughts on “Spotting the marketing thief

  1. Diane Holliday March 17, 2010 / 4:27 pm

    Just seen this blog…it's apalling how people can do this. I would keep my counsel, give some tip bits but explain that you do this for a living. Have a draft contract in your pocket so you can explain How you Work and the long term benefits. Diane

  2. Paul Tagent, Bath Marketing Consultancy March 17, 2010 / 4:44 pm

    Thanks for your comment Diane. It's a nightmare finding that balance between speculating to accumulate and giving too much away. This particular prospect had his own agenda and I am going to try and use the market research I did to work with his competitor and therefore against him. he asked for a fully costed, 12 month written proposal so he 'could sign it off' and was on the take.I now go to meetings with a stop watch and it beeps after an hour – 'time's up. Wallet open now please!!'

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