Don’t lie, don’t deceive, don’t mislead in marketing

Some business thing that it is OK to lie. The think that it’s a quick way to get ahead in their marketing. Or maybe they think it’s the only way to get a customer. Think of you stereotypical second-hand car salesman. The reputation is that you can’t trust them. That they will trick you and con you. This is wrong. If you want to ruin your business quickly, the fastest way to do so it to lie, to deceive and to mislead your customers. You won’t do it for long because before soon you will have no customers.

Today I saw an advert on YouTube for something that I was interested in. Doesn’t happen often. Most adverts I see get ignored. But this one was one that caught my attention. It claimed, so I thought, to take a photograph of myself, and through some photoshopping wizardry, turn it into a cartoon styled image of myself.

“Now,” I thought to myself, “I could do with some of that. It’s just what I need to make a nice catchy avatar.”

So I clicked the ad. Now I found myself very disappointed. Instead of photoshopping a photo like the advert showed, it simply let me download some software to make a Zwinky. You know those little mini me cartoons where you choose the hair, choose the shoes and choose the face and make something resembling yourself.

Now there’s nothing wrong with making a Zwinky. In fact, if the advert had been for making a Zwinky then I probably would still have clicked on it because Zwinkies are a cartoon avatar and cartoon avatars were what I wanted to make. However, the advert had promised something much more than a Zwinky. It had alluded at a much higher level of realism and customization than a regular Zwinky. I wasn’t going to get what I wanted. I had been tricked and lied to. The result was a disappointment.

Now disappointment is not a good stage in your marketing/sales process. You don’t sit down at the board meeting and discuss how best to disappoint your customers. It is quite safe to say that disappointed customers are what people seek to avoid. Avidly. Disappointment is not how you build brand loyalty. You can’t get repeat business if you disappoint.

Look at your business. Is the image that you present to your customer matching up to what you supply? Remember only happy prospects buy. Only satisfied customers tell their friends or come back to your business and buy again. Disappointed customers will go elsewhere.

Footnote: I went ahead and downloaded the Zwinky toolbar to test it for this blog. First, try didn’t work cause I was using Google Chrome not Internet Explorer. A little miffed at having my favourite browser snubbed but not too much as Chrome isn’t a major league browser and still quite new to the market. So I fired up IE. Downloaded via the ActiveX installer and nothing. Tried the manual install, nothing. Seems that Zwinky doesn’t support IE version 8. So no quite disappointed and shan’t be returning to this product anytime soon.