COM0014: It Works’ failure at B2C

It Doesn’t Work.

It Works is a Multi-Level Marketing company, which means that it generates sales by having people pay to become distributors of a product. People who find success in these companies are not the best at sales, but rather the most successful at recruiting new members to buy in as new distributors. But when new sales representatives try their social media pitches, are they successful? Do they choose a solid strategy to engage their potential clients? Do they provide quality interactions?

No.

The online distributors of It Works can be used as a case study of what not to do in social media marketing. They overwhelm their followers with sales-heavy pitches marketing their weight-loss and “health” products. This impersonal, heavy handed practice has been shown to be the least effective form of online marketing, but is encouraged by the higher-ups at the company. The bigger problem with their marketing technique is the encouragement to reach out to friends, acquaintances, and strangers on social media with a friendly “catching up” social comment, followed by the suggestion that the sales target has put on weight and could utilize the seller’s products to shed those unsightly pounds. These cold-approaches are often copy-pasted scripts (such as this accidentally posted script reveal for another MLM company), showing that the seller does not tailor their sales pitch to the individual, another failure to utilize the benefits of online marketing.

New recruits are also encouraged to post as often as 7-10 times per day, in an attempt to have their content beat social media algorithms and show up on more feeds, to generate more interest and potential clients or recruits. This, again, goes against recommended social media marketing techniques as audiences do not like to be overwhelmed with content, particularly when it comes from a personal account instead of a business.

It Works is only one example of an MLM company, a social media plague that is growing more prevalent and oversaturating the online marketplace with “get rich working from your phone” schemes. For more information, check out John Oliver’s exposé on Multi-Level Marketing schemes here.

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