Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who was unfaithful?
Advertising and marketing messages have been known to stretch the boundaries between truth and lies. A cleverly worded statement can lead its audience to understand that their purchase decision is sound and in good judgment. However, once the customer becomes aware of the underdeveloped promise of satisfaction, the jig is up and all trust has been lost.
The relationship between a business and its customers is one to be honored and respected. Your marketing message acts as your vow, a grouping of words or phrases crafted to promote a quality backed with a healthy dose of loyalty. If you’ve ever been burned in a relationship, you understand firsthand how difficult it is to reignite the smoldering embers of a damaged heart. It takes time, energy, and a tremendous amount of forgiveness.
Deceit is no way to run a business. In fact, it’s the quickest way to destroy one. A lack of Integrity in your advertising is like baking bread with no flour. A bitter glob of gelatinous goo is only appealing to the rats. If the rat is your target audience, then by all means, stretch the truth. But if your focus is on creating repeat customers, and establishing a healthy reputation, you may want to break out your measuring cup.
As I sit here working on the sales copy for a new campaign, I am constantly thinking to myself, “If my mother was in the market for this product or service, would I feel comfortable asking her to act on this offer?” If the answer is NO, I’ve done a disservice to my client. My mother is not always the target audience, but her opinion means enough to me to ensure I remain in the lane of established trust and honesty.
Your marketing message is an extension of your own self. If you fail to stay true to your desired image, you’re left with nothing but your word. And in advertising, it takes a little more than a firm handshake, eye contact, and a spoken promise to make money.
A story must be told, and it better not be a tall tale.