You might appreciate the thoughts I received from reader David Mason after one of our previous editions of Affect…
“… If individual clients experience good service and attention to their specific needs and requirements, thus making them feel good about doing business with each of your people (not just “the company,”) good advertising seems to enhance that experience. If, on the other hand, their experience is lacking, the clients (decision-makers) will remember their experience when exposed to the advertisement of those services. The ads, no matter how well crafted, will only serve to remind them of it.
That being said, assuming that the underlying service is high quality and competitive with others, proper marketing approach and image-building can definitely build brand awareness and cement good relationships with clients, thereby growing market share. It becomes a rather effective tool to communicate your professionalism. Properly presented testimonials are a great example.
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Agreed, “truth telling”— delivering on your promise is critical—in fact, imperative. I have repeated, both to my 14 year old and to my new clients, “If we are to be taken seriously, we must always tell the truth.” The lesson then is what? How can David’s thoughts help you to be a better marketer?
First practical application: “Look in, be sure your company’s delivery matches the claim of your marketing!” At least, then you can sleep at night.
David mentions testimonials as a proven tool…so why does everyone who runs a testimonial not make money? The place to look might be inward. Is your testimonial reflecting a typical experience or is it an experience that only one out of 100 customers enjoy? If so, we should consider fixing our product and service delivery. Maybe, we should review our marketing promise. Sometimes, upset customers are only upset that you did not deliver what you promised. Sometimes, what you did was done well; it just was not what they were promised!
Second practical application: If you do testimonials, be sure it’s not the exception to the rule. It will only astonish your unhappy clients and prospects. Looking through the lenses of rose-colored glasses only affects YOUR vision.
Another thought. If it takes five personal calls to close a sale, can one or two ads be expected to accomplish much? Now, this is important; we are talking about your money and how it works.
Herman Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in scientific memory research, tells us that readers forget 50% of what they’ve read after 24 hours, 90% after a week. Logically, the inverse is important, as we are charged with making people remember! Repetition is the key to learning. Doing something over and over, seeing something over and over, hearing something over and over—that’s what fixes it firmly in your mind.
For more on Ebbinghaus, check out: Part one: http://www.businessmarketinginstitute.com/tmn021908.html and Part two: http://www.businessmarketinginstitute.com/tmn022608.html
We, as marketers, are charged with being wise stewards of our companies’ resources (time and money.) To get the maximum return on what you invest, we need to be consistent. Starting and stopping is a costly mistake. It reverses the awareness-building process. It’s far less costly for you to maintain the awareness you’ve built, than to regain it once you’ve let it go to waste.
For example, based on this science, you could expect that an ad must run at least four or five times before you see results. Probably you should run it 14 times before expecting much. Yet, 80% of all companies run fewer than five ads in a year. Worse, nearly half run fewer than two! Running an ad once or twice is a waste.
Third practical application: Success is more a function of consistent communication than it is of marketing genius. Be smart with your money. Remembering comes from repeating.
Woody Allen said, “80% of success is just showing up.” Maybe, that’s true. But success is also about being truthful, smart, and consistent when you show up.
Telling it like it is.
Sean M. Doyle