Make Your Promise Big

Looking for better results from your ad program?

Make Your Promise Big, Then Make Good On It.

The best advertising is offered as a promise. One that is big, bold, unique and meaningful. Positive results are achieved only after you make good on what you said you would do. Advertisers are good at making promises, but often fail to deliver the goods.

Any business can apply the concept of using promises to increase sales. The following is a true story on how an advertiser made more than good on their promise.

Recently in the market for medical services (unplanned, that is), I found myself in the ER of a hospital that boldly promised in their ads a visit by a doctor in fifteen minutes or less. Being the marketing research enthusiast that I am, I took them up on their offer and entered the ER ready to engage the timer.

In less than five minutes, I was visited and diagnosed by the attending physician. Within fifteen minutes of his visit, the surgeon confirmed his diagnosis and laid out my options. Their first promise was kept.

Throughout the rest of my visit, several more promises would be made, all of which would be kept. As a consumer, I found myself quite pleased with the outcome. As a marketer, I found several lessons any business can apply.

Lesson #1: Make your promise meaningful to the customer. Your offer (promise) must have relevance in the life of the consumer. If they don’t care about what you’re offering, you’re wasting your breath.

Lesson #2: Make your promise simple to understand. “You’ll see a doctor in fifteen minutes or less.” “Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.” Make it big, meaningful and to the point. The marketing landscape is filled with clutter. If your offer is complicated, loaded with clichés or just too long, your message will fail to resonate and your dollars will be wasted.

Lesson #3: Make your promise unique. You have to find a position that is different and not occupied by someone else. If you choose to copy someone else, be prepared to out-spend them as that will be the only chance you have of making your message stick. “Me-too” campaigns are typically met with a cold response from consumers.

Lesson #4: Make sure everyone on your team is focused on making good on your promise. In our ultra-competitive environment, consumers are unforgiving (as they should be) and won’t give you a second chance to make things right. There are too many other places they can take their money. Since everyone in your company is part of the marketing mix, make sure everyone is aware of the plan.

Lesson #5: Serve your customers with a smile. Consumers owe you nothing. They can choose anyone they want to get what you have to offer. Everyone I encountered during my experience greeted me with a smile and seemed genuinely concerned. I even received a hand-written thank you note from the business manager that included a smiley face.

Lesson #6: Work to exceed your customers’ expectations, not just meet them. Advertisers who deliver on every promise consistently will reap the rewards of turning consumers into repeat customers who in turn will become fans and maybe even evangelists.