For a long time, the goal of a marketer or advertiser has been to sell a product, whatever the cost. Often this has meant sacrificing a little honesty along the way, in order to paint a positive picture. How many times have you seen an advertisement where the product claims to be the best in the world? Or some other outlandish claims that you can instantly tell are not honest?
These marketers are sticking to the old ways, and haven’t yet adapted to the current marketing climate. For years, as marketers, we saw that these strategies worked. But we didn’t see the negative long-term outcomes of working this way. Over time, a marketing campaign that relies on dishonesty will foul the relationship between you and your customer. Especially now when a large percentage of sales happen through word of mouth.
We are now in an age where advertising is no longer passive. Customers don’t simply view your content and then take it as read. They will engage with it, discuss it, and publicly review it for others to see. If you are making claims that you can’t meet, it won’t be long before your reputation is badly damaged.
What will make your marketing honest and open, and keep that relationship intact? Accuracy, openness, communication. These three things are paramount.
Make an accurate assessment of the selling points of your product, and focus on what really makes it unique and exciting. Don’t tell people it’s the best. Tell people what is best about it. If there is nothing, then perhaps it’s time to upgrade your product.
Be open about your mistakes and get on top of bad press before it gets out of hand. Maybe you had a bad product run with some small issues. Be the first to contact your customers and offer refunds or exchanges. Be public and transparent about what happened and how you can prevent it from happening again.
Communicate with your customers directly. Keep an open conversation going at all times. Read the reviews and the feedback. Actively ask for it in fact. In this way, you’ll know what problems are out there before they become big problems.