Telling the Truth in Your Advertising
Just because your company is working to get the word out about your fabulous products or services in a creative and contagious way, doesn’t mean unsubstantiated claims and dishonest marketing should be part of your advertising efforts. Making claims you cannot support or untrue statements in your marketing will eventually hurt your company in a major way in the long run.
Sometimes, when you are working to be creative, original, and even outrageous in your business’ marketing campaigns, the line between fact and fiction can get a bit blurred. Originality and outrageousness can be really great elements in buzz-worthy and contagiously affective advertising – but make sure you are not making any statements about your product – what it can do, how much it costs, etc. – or your services to the customer that you cannot back up and support. The old adage is true – bad news travels much faster than good news does. And, the negative publicity generated from untruths will kill your customer trust, not to mention your sales may be dead before they ever get off the ground.
In addition to creating an advertising message that is simple, clear and accessible – you’re also trying to tell customers and potential customers a “story” about your company, your product and/or your services. This “story” needs to be true and accurate. As word spreads and customers talk about your company, information is likely to get distorted naturally (think of the natural course of gossip, or that old child’s game of “telephone.”) If you at least start the flow of information with accurate, truthful claims – you might be able to influence positive chatter. Untrue or unsupported claims in your advertising can really get blown out of proportion through the natural course of word-of-mouth and come back to haunt you.
Before using any marketing or advertising campaign or sending forth a message about your company, products, or services – put it to the truth test. Ask yourself if your company can back up and support every claim you’re making and the product will hold up to the scrutiny of a literal interpretation of the marketing materials. Don’t claim your product will do something it won’t or that your company is offering something that can’t be guaranteed. Keeping your message honest and above board will contribute to building customer trust and loyalty and make your long-term marketing efforts easier.