Your Offer Must Have Merit
Consumer attention is at a premium. We all know that. By some accounts, consumers are exposed to 3000 advertising messages per day. 3000 PER DAY! If you think about it, that number makes sense. From television commercials to direct mail to outdoor advertising such as bus stop benches and billboards, it is impossible to avoid marketing and advertising. Since we can’t avoid it, we start to become immune to it. We ignore it. So marketers such as myself, have to cut through all other messages to communicate the message of my clients. So how do I do that?
There are many ways of creating buzz for clients that include promotional pricing, call to actions and Public Relations but the one I want to talk about is the guarantee.
Many companies will provide a guarantee to their customers to create a sense of credibility, use as a promotional tool or just solicit some media attention. However, the fundamental feature of the guarantee has to be its legitimacy. If this guarantee doesn’t convey that you will significantly go out of your way to ensure whatever it is you are guaranteeing, the exercise is worthless and potentially damaging.
An example I like to use involves a local car dealer her in Denver. This dealer is very popular and well known around here and competes mostly on price (as most car dealers do). They promote that they will “beat any deal or they will give you the car”. This offer has no merit. Think about it. If someone comes to the dealer and has a better deal that they must match, there is no way in hell they would say they couldn’t match it! If they can’t match it, they would have to give it to you according to their guarantee. So obviously they would match the deal even if it meant they would lose money on the deal. It would lose more money if they gave you the car.
Now I don’t know if anyone has done any research about whether or not the public here in Denver has a negative brand image of this dealer because of this, but the smart and savvy shoppers (which the American public is becoming more and more of) will see through the smoke screen. This kind of tactic can be very beneficial, but you need to be careful on what you are offering. It could just as easily be harmful.