Over the life of the series, Breaking Bad has been big on drama, action, and suspense. One thing it hasn’t had, however, is a lot in the way of practical business lessons – at least for the majority of us who don’t spend our time running illegal black markets out in the desert.
But, if there’s one thing that Walt and his associates have taught us over the past handful of years, it’s that a lot of life (and business success) lies in shades of gray, and that the best lessons are the ones that are learned through time and experience. A lot of us have learned firsthand that online marketing works in the same way.
PHOTO: Official Breaking Bad Blog
So, even if you aren’t trying to evade the authorities while living a double life, there might be a few things you can pick up from the hit show that will help make your website more successful. Here are five that came to us:
1. There is always room in the market for a better product.
Just as Walt built his reputation on selling a cleaner, more powerful product, so do a lot of companies throughout North America. No matter how crowded a particular industry or section of the market might seem, know that the companies and websites that have the most to offer always tend to stand out sooner or later.
2. The best USPs are easy to see and understand.
Even if your product isn’t blue, your marketing should have some recognizable feature that sets it apart from anything else that might be similar. In fact, the easier it is for customers to quickly and clearly differentiate you from your competitors, the easier it will be to keep them coming back to you time and time again.
3. For your business to grow, some of your competitors might have to be crushed.
Business can be harsh and unforgiving, even when you don’t have international cartels trying to track you down and steal your market share. It’s up to you to do all you can, within reason, to either put your competitors out of business or make your own company the clear choice. That might seem a little harsh, but it’s also realistic. Remember that other companies wouldn’t lose sleep seeing you go under.
4. Marketing will always fail if the quality of your product or service declines.
On the show, the underground business goes south when Walt takes his specialized expertise away. The same happens in legitimate businesses – lose the one thing that makes your product or service a better value than all the others and it won’t matter how strong your online marketing plan is, because your reputation and past success can only carry you so far.
5. Doing the wrong things always has consequences.
The one overriding theme in Breaking Bad is the way lots of small compromises, in the name of the greater good, can lead you to places you don’t really want to be. That’s an especially good lesson for online marketers, who can be tempted to cut corners with things like content creation and search engine optimization. That might feel good in the short term, but failing to give viewers and prospects anything but the best value for their time and money will always come back to haunt you later.
As we say goodbye to Breaking Bad, remember that a few of the things you saw can be applied to your online marketing life – above all, stay away from the small shortcuts that seem convenient at the time and you won’t have to worry about your past catching up with you on the Internet!