Henry Ford was known to have said something similar to, “If I listened to everyone else about change – they would have wanted a faster horse!”
IS what? Change IS constant. Change IS inevitable. Change IS good. Change IS scary and that’s good too.
You know what’s even scarier than change? NO change!
Personally and professionally we have to be constantly changing and we must put into practice continuous enhancement of our mission, our message and our marketing.
In the old days (last millennium or even last week) MARKETING was perceived as MANIPULATION. As soon as the consumer would figure out they were being taken advantage of – the marketing gurus of the past would find a new way to manipulate us into believing that we ‘NEEDED’ what they were peddling.
In the new era of search engines like Yahoo and Bing and instant consumer opinions like Yelp and Angie’s List, it does not take long for a fraudster to be ‘OUT-ed’ or exposed.
The term ‘OPTICS’ has been used frequently. In simple terms, ‘Optics’ means – How does it look? Or maybe even – How does it feel or seem?
As we grow ourselves and our companies, we have to be sensitive to the ‘Optics’ of the changes we are making. If the clientele determines that you have a secret agenda for your changes… the optics will seem ‘off’ and they will stay away and they may not even know why. They’ll just feel it.
Here is a simple yet remarkable statement on how to ensure your optics ‘feel’ right. Are you ready? It’s groundbreaking and it involves a word that goes against almost everything the old marketers taught us… Here goes…
Tell the TRUTH!
Yep. That’s it. Sorry to be so blunt.
This may be polar-opposite to what you may have learned in MKTG-101.
TRUTH as a marketing PLOY or TACTIC! Wow…who knew?
Let’s get something straight – TRUTH is not a ploy or tactic. Truth is truth and the consumer knows it.
Here’s the start of your new marketing strategy – should you choose to embrace it – Tell the Truth. Good news or bad news. Tell the truth.
At the end of this article I’ll compare an actual TEST of TRUTH to see if truth works. (Aw heck, I’ll show two.)
To get back to the CHANGE part of my message – I have often said, “Change or get left behind!” So, how do we change? Read, grow, listen to audio teachings, watch videos, ask questions, find a mentor, talk to your clients and ask them where ‘it hurts’.
How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? You have heard me say many times over the years – USE A BOOK – as a business card.
If you are competing against another person and one of you has a book and the other has a simple business card or tri-fold brochure…who is going to win the deal? The Author Wins…almost every single time.
Why? It goes back to optics and truth. The author is deemed to be more trustworthy simply because they ‘wrote the book’ on the subject. They seem more well-informed. They have done their homework.
It’s time to bring your marketing to the next level. Ask me about writing a book and come to my next bootcamp – You will be glad you did and your bottom-line will be happy too!!!
Let’s test my TRUTH philosophy with two well known, very public events.
ONE: David Letterman – the lovable, amiable, goofy talk show host, was discovered to have an affair with a staff member. He immediately decided to stand up and tell the truth about it. On his CBS TV show he stood center stage and admitted he made a mistake. He apologized to his wife, the staff member in question, the rest of his staff and the public. The scandal soon disappeared. The public did not need to speculate whether he did it or not. There was nothing more to talk about. It was over.
Compare that to other famous people, movie stars or government officials who may or may not have had affairs… some are still being discussed in public today. The scandals won’t go away. People love to speculate if they don’t know the real truth.
TWO: Toyota Car Company had a devastating situation with their cars a few years back. They chose to deny it and say that the problem was isolated. When it was finally shown that Toyota was wrong… the company still did not do what the public wanted – make an apology!
The senior executive and the marketing folks decided to say, “We regret that there were problems.” Think about it. If someone does you wrong do you want to hear, “I regret what I did?” or do you want to hear, “I’m sorry!”
Compare that to General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra, said before a Senate investigative committee, on public TV, “I am deeply sorry for what has happened. I apologize to the families who have lost loved ones.”
The business reporters were dumbfounded that she admitted the mistake and said the words, “I’m sorry.” Ms. Barra was the top newsmaker for the next few days simply because she told the truth! Her honest testimony and heartfelt apology went a long way to enhancing GM’s image and recovery.
Let’s see the business repercussions – From 2015 to 2016 GM stock price dropped 11% while Toyota dropped 24%. Also GM’s new cars are seemingly more attractive to the buying public.
Tell the truth. IT WORKS!