I recently went to an airshow to watch planes scream down the runway. It was fantastic – death-defying feats of aerial acrobatics right before our eyes! Wow! I didn’t mind the crowds or the burning sun, but what sticks out in my mind is the food. Now, those who know me are already asking me, “Alright Lacy, where’s the marketing lesson?” Of course, you know there has to be one.
I’m a foodie. I love food, from the little niblets that cost $40 a plate in Danville, California to the ultra-big biscuits in Lake Ozarks, Missouri. I could have been a foodie blogger in another life. Which is why, possibly, when I saw a sign for a Philly Cheese Steak at the airshow, I expected a Philly Cheese Steak. What I got was… not a Philly Cheese Steak. It wasn’t even a close cousin. It might have looked at a Philly as it shuffled out of an ally in Philadelphia, but even that’s stretching it.
Your Marketing Message Effects Buyer Expectations
It’s amazing what I read into those three little words. Three words, four syllables, and my mind filled with expectations. -And that was hardly even marketing. Just a little hand-printed sign on a piece of white paper.
What expectations does your marketing message bring about?
The words you use bring expectations. You might say, “Well, yes, of course they do,” but some clearly aren’t keeping that in mind when they put out the next “New and Improved!” product. Comedian George Carlin said one of my favorite lines about the “new and improved” description. He said, “When something is ‘new and improved’, which is it? If it’s new, then there has never been anything before it. If it’s an improvement, then there must have been something before it.”
In other words, if you put that your product is both new and improved, you’re obviously lying about said product.
When Your Words Fail To Convert
There are numerous lists out there to help you get your words straight to the target audience. They all proclaim that they have the words to use that will cause your audience to convert. But what if they don’t?
Buffer has 189 Powerful Words that Convert. It’s a great list. “New” and “improved” are both on there. -But you can fill your marketing message up with the words on that list and still not see the conversions you expect. Worse yet, you can get conversions, and then get a social media backlash when your products don’t match up with the words you used.
Be Honest In Your Marketing Message
Remember that you don’t just want a one time sale. If you only have a single product and it’s a lifetime product, you still want your customers to go to their friends, acquaintances and/or business associates and tell them about your product so they’ll buy.
This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to be honest in your marketing message. There’s nothing wrong with something “new”, but before you use the term, make sure your product is something that’s never been seen before – or used in the same way, or looks the same, etc. If it’s improved, it needs to be an actual improvement.
Free is another big one that’s often used to twist marketing, leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. It’s like taking a “free” IQ test that stops halfway through and says, “You took the free test. If you want to know the results, you have to pay $20.” This is not free, people. This is misdirection on the hope that you’ll want to pay the $20 after spending all that time taking the test.
How about “Easy”? Think about it the next time you put “easy” in your marketing message. Is it really? What about your product is easy? What makes it easy – or what does it make easy? “Easy” means that it’s not hard to do, which is a matter of relativity. Who is it suppose to be easy for? (I still maintain that someone should sue Staples for false advertising by introducing an easy button that you can’t really use.)
Make Your Marketing Message More Powerful
By all means, use the Buffer list I linked to up above when writing your next marketing message. For that matter, you can look over Optin Monster’s contribution, 700+ Power Words That Will Boost Your Conversions. -But when you do, find the words that match your product, not the words that match your idea of the product.
Ask yourself, “Does this word really describe my product? Am I stretching things a bit, or is it on par with our product offerings?”
Now, that doesn’t mean that you go describing your product in a less-than-marketable way. For example, Coors Light isn’t going to advertise itself as “Second Best in the Country,” or “the beer that almost made it to the top in America.” Instead, they focus on how refreshing it is; they shared the real message that buyers want to know.
As you write up your next marketing campaign, think about the words you use. It might help if you keep the product – or a picture of the product – in front of you for quick reference. Have a dictionary handy, and revisit the definition of the words you want to use. Do they fit?
It’s not painless. It’s not quick. It’s not easy. It takes time to get the marketing message right in a way that both converts to sales and converts to brand advocacy. Keep in mind that the words you use can create expectations, help push a conversion or ruin a brand. Choose carefully, and send out a marketing message that makes a real difference to your company.