Marketers feel your incredulity, but they are running out of ideas on how to convince you that their product is really, we-mean-it-this-time-- great. I'm writing this from my hotel overlooking the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. The surrounding hotels have huge multi-floor window clings advertising upcoming flicks that you can see a mile away. The elevators themselves have every inch of the walls covered with ads marketing television shows. TBS, Cartoon Network, and SyFy are all purchasing existing retail stores and restaurants with an expensive brand-assimilation campaign. That diner you ate at last week is now a SyFy diner. You can almost hear the back-room marketing pitch in all of these examples: Make the message loud enough to convince you it's special.
In fairness, these are impressive bits of hype, but will it work? Depends on the quality of what they're hyping. The fastest way to kill a bad product is with great advertising. Last year, Universal spent a fortune advertising "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" at the 2010 Comic-Con. While it was met with initial excitement, it went on to bomb at the box office, failing to recoup its production budget. Frustrated marketers wondered if they should pull back on their Comic-Con advertising. Instead, they should have asked "Do we have a stinker of a movie on our hands? How big is the audience for this thing?" well before one cent of the marketing budget was spent.
In an effort to distinguish themselves from the competition, a local plumbing company painted their entire fleet of red vans to a much softer pink. I'm talking Pepto Bismol pink. The idea was to evoke breast cancer awareness to an increasingly female consumer, but I'm not sure what that has to do with unclogging their toilets. Being perceived as "different" doesn't matter to a customer if you don't first make a difference in their life.
Have you ever been frustrated at the ROI of your marketing campaigns?
If so, my question to you is: How great are your products? How wonderful is your service - really? Be honest.
If you know deep inside that you're selling inferior products to your competition, your marketing efforts are going to be doomed at every turn. It will catch up to you sooner or later. If, on the other hand, your products really are superior, then your marketing focus needs to be keyed in on the benefits to the consumer. Trust is key to the success of a long-term brand, and it's established by making good on your promises. If you extol your product's virtues and the consumer genuinely experiences an authentic benefit, then they'll be back for more and tell their friends.
As you examine ways to advertise the benefits, focus in on these key terms: "authenticity" and "experience." Authenticity is simply being what you say you are and saying it like it really is. You can really boil experience down to two things: good or bad.
As an e-commerce store owner, your customer experiences your brand at two important junctures: on your site and in their hands. You have to make sure their experience on the site is authentic to the product itself. Is your site evoking emotions tied to the enjoyable use of your products (the physical experience), or is it just listing stuff? Once a customer actually has the product in hand, their experience with it determines how authentic they think you are. In other words, they judge the quality of the steak against the sizzle you put in front of them online.
See you next time. I'm off to grab a sizzling steak sandwich at the SyFy diner. I'll let you know how it was!
We can spark that sizzle necessary to leave a lasting impression, call us at 888.429.4803 or e-mail us today!