How Marketing Abandoned Exaggeration!

‘Said a tiger to a lion as they drank beside a pool, “Tell me, why do you roar like a fool?” “That’s not foolish,” replied the lion with a twinkle in his eyes. “They call me king of all the beasts because I advertise.”

A rabbit heard them talking and ran home like a streak. He thought he would try the lion’s plan, but his roar was a squeak. A fox came to investigate — and had his lunch in the woods.

The moral: When you advertise, be sure you’ve got the goods!’

The story above has a very simple yet powerful message — Irrespective of the years of work experience and expertise we may have as marketers, our success solely depends on how good the product/solution we are trying to market is!
The moral of the story gains greater significance in the case of start-ups and SMBs/SMEs where building a brand is usually governed by how innovative and out of the box, the offering is.

Big brands have it a little easy, but to stay on top, even they have to continuously challenge their previous achievements. For them leveraging previous product success to propel future launches might be easy, but in a fast evolving market their long-term success will depend on the quality and efficiency of their latest product.

If we look back before social media became a way of life for most people around the world — marketing was definitely easier, you needed to know your communication channels and have the money and the resources to weave a web of words and creatives to attract your end customer.

Since customer complains and feedback were sent individually to a company, stories of in-competencies or mismatch in product value projections and customer expectations would hardly make news unless they were of significant proportions or concerned a large customer base.

Today building brands is a tough job, with almost anyone who has a voice having an open forum, to compliment and to slander and everyone who matters to your business — competitors, prospects and other stakeholders watching you closely, even the minutest slip can ruin years of efforts and your company’s success story.

We live in times where tweets and status updates decide the topics of discussion around the world — spreading information like fire, sans boundaries and nationalities, and putting up all our claims for scrutiny by hundreds and thousands, with or without our consent. Watching our words and sticking to facts, is a survival tip we all can use.

On a more positive note, I feel social media has made us marketers an honest lot and also quite creative. After all, we do manage to effectively describe our offerings in 140 characters — minus the exaggeration and loud make believe stories.

Social media has also multiplied our reach by providing us with a huge marketing force, which only expects a great customer experience for spreading the good word.

The truth is, as marketers times might be tough, when it comes to building and sustaining a brand, but we are lucky to do marketing in the era of Web 2.0, where we don’t need loads of money or the best advertising real estate to ensure, a lot of people talk about our brand. All it takes is a powerful and honest campaign that backs a product which promises a terrific user experience……