Is Your Marketing Genuine?

TrueWe live in a world where it’s hard to cover up the truth. The digital era has led to instant, unfiltered product reviews. Products or services are praised—and more often berated—via Facebook updates or tweets. Blog posts offer the “inside scoop” on a business’s actions, good or bad.

Which ultimately means, in this day and age, that you can’t afford to have dishonest marketing.

    • If you position your business as having “Unrivaled Customer Service” on all of your marketing materials, but your only “customer service” is an automated “Press 1 for account information” response, you are misleading your customers.
    • If you say your restaurant “uses only the freshest ingredients” and has “the friendliest staff in town,” but your salads are full of brown, withered lettuce and your waiters are simply “waiting” for their next smoke break, your customers will notice…and they’ll tell their friends.
    • If your commercials offer the “fastest delivery in town” and people are waiting 45 minutes for their sandwiches, it won’t be long before your myth of a selling point is publicly debunked, Mythbusters-style.

Bottom line? Misleading your customers will catch up to you, whether it’s in the form of an online review or an angry, negative tweet. The digital world has made transparency not just a preference, but a full-fledged expectation. And if you aren’t marketing yourself genuinely, it won’t be long before the world finds out (and shares the news with its entire social network).

As a final example, think about Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film, “The Shining.” Many people consider it the scariest movie they’ve ever seen. So imagine how outraged moviegoers would have been if they’d gone into the movie expecting this:

Most of us know the real movie is not quite as…cheery…as this mock-trailer would have you believe. Keep that in mind when you think about your upcoming marketing efforts. Because if you’re trying to pull the wool over your customers’ eyes, the only person who will end up fooled is you.

Keep it genuine. It’ll pay off in the long run.

-Mike B.

What’s your experience with disingenuous marketing? Do you tell your network when you feel like a company or business has mislead you? Which companies do you think truly stick to their brand promise? Let us know with a comment!

Photo by Keng Susumpow. Thanks Keng!

Forget Comcast & Zappos – Let’s Help OUR Clients Shine

ZapposAs someone who has read plenty of marketing/social media blog posts and seen quite a few conference presentations and keynotes, I’m starting to get a little frustrated. Why? Because it seems like the ONLY examples of “great customer service through social media” that presenters have used over the past two years are Comcast and Zappos.

I recently watched yet another webinar in which those examples were used. Funny to me is the fact that Comcast has been used as an example for so long that Frank Eliason – the guy most people refer to in presentations for building Comcast’s online customer service reputation – doesn’t even work for them anymore.

So, if Comcast and Zappos are ALWAYS referenced in the presentations and keynotes of the “top” social media and marketing experts, why don’t those same experts have their own clients who have done praiseworthy work? If a marketer can pinpoint what it is that makes a company’s customer service remarkable, why aren’t his or her clients able to put that insight to good use?

As marketers, let’s spend less time citing worn out examples and more time making our clients stand out. Less time repeating what everyone else has said for the past 24 months and more time helping our clients become the nextworn-out examples of excellence.

There’s nothing wrong with citing a nationally-renowned example to make a point in our presentations. But if we can’t also mention our own client’s similar success in the same (or at least a similar) context, we’re not really proving our expertise.

It’s great to recognize examples of great work or great customer service. Let’s just make sure we can also help our clients provide an exemplary level of great work and great customer service.

Sound like a plan? Awesome.

-Mike B.

Photo by Nate Ritter. Thanks Nate!