Why marketing hype ultimately fails

Why marketing hype ultimately fails

Hype is always a temptation when talking or writing about your company or services. Puffing up your features and benefits may seem like a good way to set yourself apart from the competition. But too much hype hurts you in the long run, when people realize that their expectations — the ones you set with your marketing — haven’t been met.

The role of marketing is not to jack up a prospect’s expectations, but to manage their expectations realistically. We’ve all seen those breathless sales letters — online or in print — that promise the moon but inevitably disappoint. (Here’s a very funny spoof of them.) You don’t want to be one of those businesses, do you?

Personally, I believe that honesty always trumps hype in the long run. A University of Georgia study confirms that people really notice when they feel worse than they expected to, i.e., when the outcome doesn’t quite meet your blue-sky promises.

The moral: Make sure you (or your copywriter) don’t set customer expectations so high that you can’t meet them. After all, hype might help you close that first sale, but profit comes from renewals, referrals and ongoing purchases. Think about the lifetime value of your customer — not just the quick buck.

As Guy put it, “It sure looks like ‘under promising and over delivering’ is the way to go.” Amen.

What’s your opinion of hype? Has it worked for you?

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