Being Honest About your Product or Service

By: Jon Singer

I often go out to lunch to get a break during the day, hitting local fast food joints. Today, I found myself driving past McDonald’s and KFC to get to a Taco Bell.

In the marketing world, I can imagine studies being done to find out why McDonald’s and KFC could not land me as a customer today. How there are some logistical reasons such as easy access drive-throughs, time of day, or traffic patterns. But the true reason today is because, well, I really like tacos.

In marketing your business, have you thought about whether your product or service is something people actually like? Is it something they want to read an e-mail about, or Tweet about? If not, don’t bang your head against the wall trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong with your marketing. It may be that your product, service, or business model may not be the greatest. Of course, that’s a depressing thought. But it’s also liberating. It allows you to not blame yourself if your marketing isn’t working well. Instead, you might need a new marketing medium or audience.

As a marketing company, when we meet with a new client we often step back to really think about their product or service. Would we buy it? Is their office appearance satisfactory? Is the price too high? We try to think well beyond our role as digital marketers.

Sometimes we do a test scenario. Once, we called as a customer to test a receptionist’s phone manners. And the results weren’t pretty. The receptionist that for some reason could not hear very well. She made us repeat ourselves during almost every call we had with her. We had to be polite, as we didn’t know if the receptionist was our client’s mother, or what the situation was! Eventually she was replaced by a capable new employee,┬ábefore we had the chance to say anything. But we couldn’t help but think about how many prospective leads were lost due to this issue.

Another client was selling furniture online. Now, we’ve heard success stories of every different kind of e-commerce website. But we just couldn’t envision buying a chair or desk online, without seeing it, feeling it, and touching it first.

Many marketing agencies would take on these projects, as their role might simply be to rank keywords on Google. Or to give you a good brand image no matter what is behind the scenes. But we here at jSinger Marketing won’t do so without clearly sharing our insights. We aim to do so objectively and for the right reasons. Perhaps it will spur a new idea for you or the issue can be fixed. Maybe the honesty will be a huge blessing and benefit both the relationship and the business.

Now, we realize that our clients know their products and audience better than we do. We know that our ideas could be wrong. But we feel an obligation to share, and have turned down clients when there wasn’t a good fit.

There’s a quote of something like “The soup in a can cannot see what’s on it’s label.” That is, when you’re inside a company or industry, you may lose sight of what the outside world labels you, how attractive you are, and how they will seek you out. So we strive to give all our clients that perspective.

We've found no substitute for an in-person meeting with you and your team. jSinger is serious about digital marketing — let us customize a marketing strategy for you.