Marketing noise

Tim CalhounWhen I look out on the marketing horizon and make decisions on what and where we advertise, it seems to me that the channels to reach our audience have been dwindling steadily the last five years, and there is nothing left but question marks as to where is my best spend and what message am I tying to send.

It seems to me that there has been so much noise about nothing in every sector of every market the last five years that people do not really care about what you are offering to them anymore. What I see emerging as the most important piece of the pie is: Did you meet or exceed their expectations?

In other words, were they delighted or surprised (hopefully pleasantly!)? Did they find a culture they can relate to when you reached them and they showed up? Or worse, was it like every other store they have been to, and did your promises fall short? If so, the damage is done, and the opinion is more than likely locked in.

Marketing at its best creates expectations, describes your culture and seeks followers; it develops a picture in the mind of your believers or potential believers. Do not make the mistake of promising more, creating an expectation you cannot fill, or merely make boastful noise with no intention to fulfill.

In our efforts to get noticed it is very tempting to offer more, often for less. It is tempting to create an unrealistic expectation that may eventually disappoint our believers and lose potential converts, to create little more than additional noise.

I suggest if you truly want to delight and build a loyal audience, if you want to radically reset the mark for your customers expectations then consider this: PROMISE LESS.

When those willing to listen do show up, then deliver on the promise to delight and remember it is not always about being better bigger or delivering more, it can be a welcome delight these days to simply be easier.

Tim Calhoun is the executive vice president of LeoVince USA, a dealer-direct manufacturer of exhaust systems. Its Italian parent company is the world's largest powersports exhaust manufacturer.

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