fibbingWe are far from the first or only ones to warn against marketing messaging packed with empty words drained of meaning (see Eric Karjaluoto). The marketing promises for “better” this or “faster” that are becoming all but invisible to the customer because they are like so many grains of sand on the beach, too difficult to tell apart.

It seems to come down to a problem of credibility – does your customer believe and trust your marketing message? The answer depends on whether they know you (your product or company) well enough to believe they have a real relationship with you (your product or your company). Seth Godin nails it here when asked about the related topic of the value of social media to companies. If your customers believe they know you well enough, then it is likely they will see you (your product or company) as real and believe and trust your message – until you let them down one time too many.

The best thing to do is treat your customers like real people that you know and interact with regularly and give them what they want. Here are five basic rules of keeping it real that your mother would approve of.

  • People want an honest interaction and they want the truth. Anything else is disrespectful and it’s fibbing.
  • People don’t want empty promises. If the product doesn’t deliver what is promised then why is it still on the website? Would you recommend a product to you rmother that doesn’t really do what it says?
  • People want justice. If you make a mistake, admit it and make it right if you can.
  • People want to feel loved. Once and a while, give them something real for free. Tell them the proprietary buffer components if they ask for it. Let them have free shipping one week out of the year. It can do wonders for keeping it real – like a gift.
  • People want to talk to another person and NOT an automated answering system. I’m not talking about voice mail – that is fine as long as you actually do call back like you promise. Please invest in people that actually answer the phone and not in an electronic gadget with a voice recognition capability.

We would love to know what you think – your comments are always welcome.