I sometimes get asked whether or not a business should use a “hook” or a gimmick in their marketing. What I find is that many business owners are a bit confused – especially those who have not done much advertising beyond the basics like yellow page ads and the like.
There is of course a huge difference in being clever in your marketing campaigns (to capture your potential customer’s attention) and using a gimmick that may or may not be 100% truthful just to get people through your door or onto your website.
No Gimmicks Necessary If You Represent a Solid Product
No one likes it when someone markets a product or opportunity using less than ethical or honest practices. Yet every single day you’ll come across marketers who seem to think this is a good idea. They must think so, else why would they do it?
I get that competition is on your heels. But intentionally misleading consumers in hopes of a sale only portrays you as one who lacks credibility. Make no mistake; I’m not referring to inadvertently misspeaking or being mistaken in your facts. Rather, I am referring to intentionally providing false information.
Creative Marketing or Shady Practices?
Some may try to justify this practice by calling it “creative marketing.” I don’t care if it’s creative accounting or creative marketing – both imply shady practices.
To give you an example, some direct sales companies are currently or will soon be expanding into other countries. That is extremely exciting news for the excited consultants as it can potentially open a large window and boost their business tenfold.
One company recently announced that they are in the planning stages of a European expansion. So what does one consultant do in hopes to get the upper hand? She spams the heck out of internet forums with flashy headlines of “We sell [company] in [Country].”
Talk about putting the cart before the horse. No details announced, no launch date, and no authorization to advertise yet. None of that seemed to matter because rather than marketing by using ethical and accurate facts, she tried a gimmick.
Are You Delivering What Your Visitors Expect?
No gimmicks are necessary if you represent a solid product or opportunity. If you represent a company of integrity, that offers products that are in demand and consumable, you will do fine marketing without any misleading rhetoric.
In this particular example, when the overreaching was pointed out to the original spammer, she merely responded, “Yup, I know.” And we wonder why the direct sales industry, in some circles, doesn’t have the most favorable reputation.
It’s always interesting to watch the “positioning for rank dance” when a new country opens. It’s just smart business to start to lay groundwork to recruit in these areas once all legalities have been worked out and there is a green light.
Use Teasers Effectively
Dropping teasers or ‘coming soon’ headlines are fine. Embellishing or outright lying serves no useful purpose except to make those who employ this tactic look desperate and shady.
Imagine that if as part of your text message marketing campaign you told your customers that you had 1/2 price “whatevers”, and when they arrived to take advantage of your incredible offer you told them that you were all sold out. The point is that you should always be prepared to deliver on what you are offering. Nothing less.
It is important to have a USP – unique selling position. You want something about you or your business to set you apart from the competition.
Why would potential customers and recruits choose to do business with you over all the others? Answer that question honestly, and you have a marketing strategy. There will be no need to fabricate or falsely sensationalize your offerings. If you represent a great product and solid company, you won’t need to mislead anyone.
Honesty is always the best policy.