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|Your Best Marketing Tool is Still the Most Basic One|
|News Releases - Business & Economy|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Friday, 22 March 2013 12:37|
New concepts are constantly emerging in marketing. We’ve seen the rise of “green marketing” — appealing to people’s environmental concerns by emphasizing recycled packaging and the like. And mobile marketing, finding new ways to get the attention of potential customers clutching hand-held devices.
There’s a lot to be said for new strategies, but it sometimes seems people get dazzled by novel approaches. They forget there’s one enduring strategy that never fails.
You can only do so much telling customers and prospective clients about who and what you are. At some point, you have to show them. And if the experience you provide doesn’t match with how you’ve represented yourself, your company, your practice, product or book, they’ll not only walk away — they’ll likely take others with them.
There are a lot of ways your honesty — or lack of it — can be revealed in the course of a day. Sometimes, it may seem like the price of being honest is just too high, for instance, when you’ve made a mistake you fear will seriously damage your reputation.
I like Jason Fried’s answer.
Jason is the co-founder of 37signals, a company that produces a chat tool called Campfire for small businesses. A couple years ago, he wrote a column in Inc. magazine about what happened when Campfire malfunctioned, sparking a real wildfire of rage among his customers.
But, he wrote, “People don’t judge you on the basis of your mistakes — they judge you on the manner in which you own up to them.”
Jason and his business partner were honest about their mistake, and sincere and consistent in their apologies. They corrected the problem, of course, and also gave their customers a free month of service for the disruption.
By the end of their nightmare, Jason and his business partner were getting messages like this from their customers: “37signals has been giving a free lesson in customer service and honesty the past few weeks.”
While I don’t believe anyone reading this would intentionally lie to customers or in their marketing, there are many situations that test us! I find it helps to have the rules of engagement firmly in place before a situation arises.
Here are a few good “old-school” marketing strategies:
It boils down to the Golden Rule for business — do unto your clients, customers and prospects as you would like done unto you. Sometimes, it requires some really hard decisions. But in the end, integrity is the most valuable marketing tool in your arsenal.
About Marsha Friedman
and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.
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