Clarity Tip Sheet...

How To Apply Effective Marketing Without Hot Air Or Being Boring

“Hot air” is not uncommon in consumer marketing – “the new and improved XYZ is the market’s best, cheapest, most efficient, etc.” Who really believes these statements? Most consumers are quite aware that they can find a similar product with more or less the same claims.

Nevertheless, companies and advertising agencies seem to persist in their traditions. As an outsider, it would be tempting to conclude that they don’t really have a proper message worth communicating.

Is Business-to-Business marketing completely different?

Probably not.

Look carefully at your own communication, ads, brochures, website, exhibition banners, etc., and then compare with those of your competitors.

You’ll probably find that they also contain some claims about best, cheapest, etc., without real corroboration.

It’s very common to claim that one’s products are the best, cheapest, etc. even if it may not be entirely accurate. It is generally considered OK, as long as it is not directly misleading.

Customers’ acceptance of these claims is actually a substantial barrier; yet many marketers don’t know about it because they never ask the customers.

Research shows that undocumented claims “bounce off” customers, and even more so in the Business-to-Business area. We are all exposed to so many unsubstantiated claims that we hardly notice them anymore and simply switch off.

Is it better to be boring?
You may think that the above does not really apply to your marketing and communication approach. Perhaps you have taken the approach of documenting your excellence by illustrating a number of technical specifications.

This may be a better approach but it does involve your customers being able to make their own conclusion, which they may not always be capable of. Are your product specs really more than marginally better than those of your competitors?

Over time, most would have to say “no” to that question. However, marketing messages remain focused on technical issues, often based on the assumption that others are just as excited about technical specs as you are.

It’s clearly just as important to avoid the pitfall of boring customers with dry and technical information – instead of helping customers find out why they should choose your product and company over others.

What are you trying to achieve?
So, how can we look forward and make our marketing effort more effective, without too much hot air, and without boring our audience?

What do you want to accomplish with your marketing? Increase awareness (of your company and/or your products) or improve your image?
This is a key issue. Although many campaigns try, it’s difficult to achieve both objectives at the same time. Here’s why: if a company is unknown, how many will believe an assertion that, finally, here’s the product they’ve been waiting for?

Hardly many, because customers will think it strange that this unknown company can revolutionise the world - without the press or industry media having talked about it. So, if your communication aim is to increase awareness, stick to that instead of claiming that you’re a world champion.

But what if you are world champions?
Of course you should exploit it if you really have a unique product or service.

You can think of it almost as a court case. Your product or service is the “defendant”, you are the lawyer, and customers the jury.

Think of how the lawyer approaches this situation...

Firstly the jury is told what to conclude (assertion), then that assertion is slowly but surely backed up with facts.

This starkly contrasts too many marketing campaigns which list one or more claims without backup or state a series of specs without telling customers what they should conclude.

Saving money by testing
Let's return to the old claim about that you never know which half of your marketing or communications budget is wasted.

If that were really the case, something would be terribly wrong. It’s not actually that expensive or difficult to find out whether or not – or to what extent – your marketing works.

So, why do we continue to believe the claim? Perhaps some would rather not like to know the effect of their work, because it’s “very tricky to measure creativity”, or it has to be “measured over a very long period”.

Whatever the reason for the lack of effect measurement, it’s a shame.

It’s actually a lot more cost effective (cheaper) to do a test than to place ineffective advertisements, brochures, websites, exhibition panels and banners, etc. In fact, ineffective communication can have the opposite, negative effect - and it could actually have been more effective to simply show the product and company name, thereby avoiding damaging results.

Get more info now:
At LEC Clarity we can help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing and communication campaigns.

If you’d like to know how we do this, and how we may be able to help you, call us now at 0870 745 6899 for a no-obligation discussion. Or, if you prefer, fill in the form below now.

Your name:
Job title:
Email address:
Contact tel:

Go to overview of Clarity Techniques

Go to Clarity Cases in point

T:+44 (0) 845 057 3641 E: