Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 31, 2008 9:55 PM

Marketing Needs To Shift From Trick To Treat

Most people distrust Marketers. Most people feel that advertising's sole purpose is to trick them.

If there's one thing that Marketers can change this Halloween, it should be to move Marketing from "trick" to "treat".

Advertising has a bad reputation, but not for the wrong reasons. Sadly, it is well-deserved. Most advertising professionals will tell you that the majority of ad creative is downright awful. Yes, there are moments of glory and magnificence, but for the most part we're still stuck in the "better, brighter, whiter, faster for less" mess. It's a crowded space where even trying to shout over the noise is no longer working, yet we keep on shouting.

Advertising and bad Marketing can be obnoxious.

If asked, the common consumer would probably say that advertising's sole purpose is to trick consumers into buying their product over their competitors. That most products are pretty much the same and the winning brands win by being the most clever in their advertising, and not in terms of how remarkable the product actually is. Instead of debating whether or not advertising is simply a tool that is used to trick consumers into buying, why not move the entire conversation over to how Marketers can turn their messaging into a constant and growing connection that increasingly delights, surprises and yes, treats the consumer in an amazing way.

Simple enough, Shift your Marketing. Start thinking about ways to constantly give your consumers treats.

Brilliant advertising creative. Easy and intuitive website navigation. Listening to your web analytics and optimizing your website to cater to your consumers' real needs. Creating generous contests. Randomly gifting your consumers (both the loyal and the ones who have never bought from you). Demanding more sincerity from your customer service representatives. There are probably thousands of ways to give your consumers more and more treats.

How many more ways can you think of to offer your consumers more treats?

Tricks do not build loyalty. Tricks will always overshadow anything and everything you're doing in these online social networks. Tricks are a game of diminishing returns.

Treats get people talking. Treats get people to create content about you. Treats get people excited. Treats creates real brand evangelism.

Think of five ways your Marketing can be shifted right now away from tricks and over to treats.

Happy Halloween... trick or treat?

By Mitch Joel