As a marketing consultant I’m constantly amazed at how some people approach small business marketing. Honest marketing is good for business. Dishonest marketing that depends on tricking or deceiving your prospects or customers will work against you in the long run. Honest Marketing vs Misleading or Dishonest Marketing Recently I was contacted through one of the social media platforms by small business owner from Kelowna. I was invited to be part of group that was focused on doing something wonderful for a certain demographic of society. As I like to make a difference in people’s lives I was intrigued and wanted to find out more. As it turns out it was an attempt to get me to look at her Network Marketing Opportunity. Yes, her MLM did have a cause or charity they sponsored but I felt mislead. Unfortunately for this small business owner my trust in her went down. When you consider most of us are using the KLT (Know Like Trust) approach to building are businesses, you can’t afford anything that weakens that trust factor.
Where else have you seen Dishonest Marketing?
Many years ago I was traveling and was staying for a couple of days at an old friend’s place. It just so happened that they were hosting an Am-Way meeting that evening. Since I was visiting I was invited to sit in on it. The fellow running the meeting (not my friend) told myself and the other couple there that this was not how a meeting was supposed to run. The three of us knew before the meeting began that this was for the Amway opportunity. He said, “we don’t like to let people know who we are until well over half way through the meeting.” I lost all interest in anything they had to say after that. If you have to resort to trickery, deceit or dishonesty to make a deal or a sale, then you’re telling me there is something wrong with the product or service.
What qualifies as Honest Marketing?
I have a couple of answers to this question. At it’s most basic level it is marketing that you would use on your grandmother (this is based on you loving your grandmother). You are open and honest about what the product or service can and will do for the customer. Another would be to use claims that have real proof attached to them. Clear before and after examples or actual testimonials from current or past customers fit with honest marketing. Myself I’m comfortable with my marketing being honest because I insist on my customers and clients getting twice the value for their investment. And then back it up with a guarantee they can trust. I learned a long time ago that when you are delivering services and require the client’s participation that you shouldn’t offer a money-back guarantee. Why, because you can’t control their level of participation. Trust me you don’t want to do the work and then have to give them money when it was them that didn’t work. Now I offer a double your value back guarantee. This means if for whatever reason they are not satisfied with the results they can utilize one of my other services of equal value. It works much better. Would your customers or clients say that you practice honest marketing?