Saturday, 13 July 2019

Silly Stuff Serious Marketers Must Avoid

Marketing is a dynamic field. But there are still some old tricks that one can still find around. They have stopped creating an impact and actually become irritable, yet the textbook marketer doesn’t want to let go of them.

Take for instance discounting. Discounting for a short time is fine but if it stays forever, it stops creating the desired impact. Over time people realize that the discounted price is the actual price and there is no discount whatsoever. Worse, some think they have been tricked by making them believe that they are getting a bargain.

Now consider freebies. Marketers try to attract investors with free gifts. If you go for them, you are asked to share your contact details. Some people leave the deal that very moment. Others give fake information. I have created a “junk” email account. If I must part with my contact information, I provide that junk email address. I never worry about the emails in that account.

Many payment applications offer cashbacks these days to entice users. It’s only after you have earned them do you realize that they come with many riders. You can’t use more than a certain percentage of the cashback on one transaction. A highly irritable term is “up to.” The number written after up to is an attractive one. The moment you apply the deal, your payback turns out to be miniscule. 

From quoting 9s at the end of the price (299, 399, 999…) to duping you on no-cost EMIs that do entail a charge, to using tricky language, marketers often try to deceive customers. Erroneously, many marketers still think that marketing is about selling a product by using clever means. They spend a lot of time devising ways in which they can trick customers. They think that once the transaction is done, their job is over. That’s a mistake.

Marketing is about providing solutions. It’s about assisting the customer solve his problem. It’s about a life-long relationship. It’s not about fooling people. You might fool your customer once but he won’t ever come to you next time. What’s more, he will spread negativity about your business. The cost of this is enormous in the long term.

What should the marketer do? He should put himself in the customer’s shoes. Would he like it if a freebie required him to share his contact information? Would he like it if having been offered an “up to” 100% cashback, he ended up with just 5%, which can only be used in tranches? If you are giving something away, have no strings attached. If the customer likes your free product, he will come back and pay up for the other things you are selling. 

As a marketer, your  primary challenge is how to create more and more value for your customer. Invest your energies there.

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