Is This The End of An Era in Marketing?

Are we coming to the end of an era in marketing? I, for one, believe that it is time.

When I first studied copywriting, we were taught to write headlines that made huge promises – outrageous promises – in order to emotionally “hook” our audience into reading the rest of the marketing piece.

And the marketing greats made names for themselves by doing just that. Some of the most famous headlines in the world are beyond belief.

But now, regulations require that claims have to be backed up. All those wild testimonials we saw just a year or two ago have to come with a disclaimer. Unless every person really will get the desired results, marketers are required to tell people that this is not a typical result of buying a program, using a product, etc.

Internet marketers selling “Get rich quick” schemes can no longer insert 20 testimonials from people who got rich without mentioning that you might not get rich.

People who sell diet pills can no longer promise that taking that pill will automatically melt off your fat without telling you that then again, it might not.

In addition to the regulations, we’re seeing a change of attitude in consumers. We’re becoming more wary. If something sounds too good to be true, we’ve learned that it probably isn’t true.

And yet, every now and then we get burned. We overlook the fine print and fall for some big promise – only to find that the promise was empty. And each time it happens, we become more suspicious of the next marketer with a big promise.

Marketers who used these methods to sell dubious products were counting on reaching millions of consumers who would buy one time. Since the products often weren’t as promised, they couldn’t count on repeat business.

Now I believe the tide is shifting from “one shot marketing” to relationship marketing.

We’re more focused on showing consumers that what we sell has lasting value – and that the other products we sell will have a similar lasting value. Marketers are showing their faces – inviting consumers to contact them for more information or to interact with them via a blog.

More and more marketers are offering guarantees – and honoring them. And in order to build a following, that’s what they need to do. We as consumers are no longer to sit back and “take our licks” if we fall for hyped up advertising. We may not be able to get satisfaction from a marketer, but when we don’t we tell the world about it.

Even “bricks and mortar” stores that refuse returns or charge re-stocking fees are getting bad press on Internet blogs, while customer-friendly stores are being praised.

The new era in marketing will involve pulling customers in by creating an aura of trust – and keeping them as repeat customers by giving excellent service and standing behind the products and services sold.

Leave a Reply