This article brings up a good point about credibility and believable marketing. Even if you know your product is the very best thing since sliced bread, how can you expect your potential customers to believe you? Did they hear about your product from a friend (probably the most trustworthy and perhaps the hardest endorsement to get)? Or are they having to take your word, as the advertiser’s, as true?
Lance Armstrong cheated. Manti Te’o didn’t have a girlfriend. Heck, a Subway footlong isn’t even 12 inches long. Face it — we live in a fairly uncredible age.
Which is, of course, a major challenge for marketers trying to communicate the value of their products.
That’s why, in the MECLABS Value Proposition Development online course, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, teaches about the importance of communicating with credibility.
After all, you can create an extremely appealing and exclusive value proposition. But, if no one believes it, it is essentially worthless.
“If your value statements are not believable, then you have nothing more than an ‘As Seen on TV’ gimmick product,” said Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization and Strategy, MECLABS. “They may work, but you don’t really know until you try. And usually they don’t.”
So, how do you overcome skeptical consumers?
“For your words to be believable, you need to be transparent, specific, and show some proof you are telling the truth,” Adam says.
Let’s look at some proof you can provide …
These can come customers or industry experts, but having people who do not have any skin in the game and will not profit from your product or service talking about how good it is helps your entire offer become much more believable.
#2. Case studies
Richer than a testimonial, this deep dive shows exactly how others have benefited from your product.
Media reports are also a credibility indicator, and are more powerful the more prestigious the news organization is.
#4. Social media
The Web 2.0 of testimonials, they have the benefit of happening in an unsolicited fashion, making them even more believable. Just be careful how you display them. If you’re simply allowing a stream of social media, an overwhelming amount of negative comments could hurt you.
#5. Negative comments
That doesn’t mean you don’t want any negative comments at all. If you are naturally and credibly showing customer feedback, some people won’t like your product. Some people don’t like everything. Even if nine out of 10 dentists recommend Super Spiffy Dental Floss, there’s always that “10th dentist” who doesn’t like it …
Some people complain about your product for legitimate reasons. And then, for others, their favorite team lost the playoffs, they got into an argument with their wife, and then they see your offer and just rip into your product for no good reason.
Either way, treat them transparently and honestly, and you will help improve your company’s credibility in your customers’ eyes.
Give your customers a clear way to express what they like about your products (and, per above, what they do not). Not only does this show the value of products from your customers’ peers, but it can help you identify and fix or pull defective products, further increasing your credibility.