Thinking about a brainstorm meeting I was due to have with a new client, I decided I needed a good, old-fashioned flip chart. Something simple, something portable that looked vaguely professional. A quick google search uncovered a handful of supplier websites and I’d soon selected the product I wanted. So far so good.
Before making my purchase there was just one detail I needed to check…the size of the flip chart. I clicked a tab entitled ‘product information’ to find… well… not a lot really. The distinct lack of detail stopped me in my tracks. I was ready, credit card in hand, to complete the purchase but one crucial detail was missing.
Mildly irritated, I picked up the phone to the customer services team; at least the number was easy to find on their website. The call was answered promptly and I felt sure I was on my way to finalising my purchase. Not so. The operator could not find the information and promised to call back. Which, inevitably, she didn’t.
What a waste of some really quite good marketing. Google ads taking them right to the top of the rankings, an easy to navigate and clear website plus a responsive call centre…but without the right basic product information for me, the customer, all utterly fruitless.
Look at your customer journey from end to end, including all the small stuff. It could just mean the difference between as successful marketing campaign and one that falls at the final hurdle.
Is it a trait of small business owners or something to do with British reserve? Recently I seem to have come across many examples of businesses simply selling themselves short.
Of course, I still see countless examples of overblown marketing copy hyping the next must-have product which sends me reaching for the delete key. Equally though, there are plenty of great businesses, brilliant products and wonderful services that could benefit from a few well placed superlatives in their web copy or adverts.
I was recently asked to write an advertorial piece for a client who was, if I say so myself, delighted with the outcome. I know this particular client, and their products, very well and so had no difficulty in articulating how good they are. The client in question felt uncomfortable ‘blowing their own trumpet’ but was quite happy for me to do it for them.
So why is it so hard to get the balance right? Try putting yourself in your customers shoes and think about what they would say about your product or service. Better still, get you customers to do the job for you. Genuine customers testimonials ( and yes, we can all see through them when they aren’t genuine) are worth their weight in gold. Don’t worry if they don’t say exactly what you would have said, this makes them all the more compelling, and they are likely to be written in the language that your prospective customers will understand.
So go on, ask a few customers what they think of your product or service and have a go at injecting some life into your marketing copy.