Telling the Truth - the least used trick in marketing

Notoriously, Gerald Ratner lost his job for being honest about the ‘Crap’ his company was peddling. No wonder so many marketers are afraid of the truth. So how honest should you be with your marketing?

Imagine the scene. We are in a workshop with a client who is scratching his head over a product pricing dilemma. In testing, consumers don’t buy because they don’t believe it’s possible to get that quality for such a low price – they: “Just can’t believe you can do it for that price – there has to be catch.” (There isn’t.) So they don’t buy. After a long pause, I broke the silence: “You know, telling the truth is a much under-utilised marketing strategy.” He and his partner fell about laughing, and said that he had never heard anything so creative. . .

Our client could have priced-up to address the issue, but was ambitious about market share. But to achieve their goals they needed to convince consumers that there isn’t a catch. It looks like consumers will be told how it’s done. And as a result I think our client will blow the lid of their market.

Yes of course marketers should tell the truth, but sometimes the truth – simply stated and frank – is more than just the truth, it’s a unique strategy. Go on – ambush your customers with a simple truth.


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