Marketing cannot exist to simply ‘create desire.’
Marketing does indeed have a social context that needs to be considered by all marketing campaigns. Consider the following three common factors we are all aware of that can be found in most marketing campaigns today:
1. The Promise: At their core, all marketing campaigns are making a promise of some form or other…that the product or service will perform in a specific way, that you will benefit in a specific way or ways, that certain ailments will disappear, that you will suddenly look like a super model after 2 weeks using the product in question…and the list goes on and on.
2. The Comparison: Most marketing campaigns in general offer overt or covert comparisons to other existing products and services out there, that they assure you their product/service can out-perform
3. The Silence: Thirdly (and perhaps most damning of all) marketing campaigns tell you just what they want you to know about their product or service without disclosing anything else they may be aware of, that could potentially change your buying decision, if that information were to be made readily available to you up front.
So what is the social context we ought to consider in all our marketing activities then?
We need to consider the real well being of the customer/consumer at all times and generate our marketing strategies around a truth based platform.
Make a promise – keep a promise: do not market/advertise something with promises that you cannot deliver on.
Comparisons: Comparisons need to be publicly demonstrated/validated. Consider using current Social Media tools that are readily available. If your cellphone can run for 8 hours while your nearest competitor fails after 4 hours – demonstrate this real-time via YouTube or other social media platforms. If that storm proof lighter can create a flame in the rain, with 50 mph winds blowing, and has a 100% strike rate (100% of your clicks will create a flame) whereas your nearest competitor only has a 75% strike rate, demonstrate/validate that through public comparison tests
The Silences need to be broken: If your product or service has limitations that are critical, though not likely to be discovered unless specific criteria are met, do disclose them up front. (Remember your client’s well being at all times).
If that Camp Stove uses Fuel that will not function at temperatures colder than 0 degrees, let them know.
If those Run – Flat Tires will not run effectively for more tan 50 kilometers, let them know.
If that Nicotine Strip will kill your addiction to Cigarettes but make you a slave to Nicotine Strips…for Gods sake tell them that!