Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Dose of Honesty

(1:10) I recently ran across a marketing ebook titled, "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" by Al Ries & Jack Trout. Its focus is on product marketing but I found several points that I believe are equally relevant to service marketing. I'm going to use a few Minutes to discuss them.

(1:02) Law # 15 - Candor: Anytime you admit a negative in your marketing, the prospect will treat that admission positively.

(0:58) I know many will bristle at this and be reluctant to accept the notion. Who likes to focus on our negative points? But I believe there is some real merit here.

(0:54) According to Ries & Trout this adage is true for 3 reasons:

  1. Because it's unexpected.
  2. Because people instinctively open their minds to problems and close their minds to glib positive statements.
  3. Because everyone is naturally cautious about what a salesman tells them, and admitting to a negative is very rare in the commercial world.
(0:46) The key is to admit to a negative and then to turn that into a positive for the customer. When you are honest about something where you do not excel, you open the mind of your customer for your positive message.

(0:40) Too often I see marketing messages that go over the top in trying to convince the customer of their positive attributes. This is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, most of us dismiss these messages as unrealistic hype. However, should a customer buy in to the message only to find the reality less than the hype, you risk greater dissatisfaction resulting in negative reviews.

(0:31) Ries & Trout further explain, "this must be achieved carefully to be fully effective. The prospect must feel some instant agreement with the negative, or else confusion will rein. At the same time, the marketing should move quickly on to the positive, before the benefit of admitting the negative is lost."

(0:22) For example: Our marina may not be located downtown but we can offer you the peace and quiet of nature, while our shuttle can get you there if you desire.

(0:17) A lack of marketing candor is one of the driving forces behind the rise to prominence of customer reviews. We are all desperate for honest, realistic views of the products and services we seek. It is why survey after survey reveals that customer reviews are the primary source used when making a buying decision.

(0:07) Make sure your marketing message has credibility by choosing candor over hype. Set realistic expectations, exceed them, and you will see more business.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.