What Would Sincere Marketing Look Like, If It Exists?

by Carl Ingalls

People automatically think of marketing as being insincere.  But what if it weren’t?  What if marketing were sincere?  What would that look like?

I turned to someone on Twitter who has done a lot more thinking about marketing than I have (but does not want to be identified).  I asked for her opinion about what sincere marketing might be, and this is what she told me.

I suspect it has to do with not over-promising, with having a clear, concise message that aligns perfectly with the actual product/service and doesn’t exaggerate or aggrandize.  I would say that this would be found in companies with a strong corporate ethic, environmental companies, and higher-end or possibly some luxury category goods/services.  Those that have a strong product/service that stands well on its own don’t have to ‘oversell’ so they would fall into this category I guess.

The reason this matters to us is that insincere marketing is not compatible with the way we teach people to sell.

What are your thoughts?

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What Would Sincere Marketing Look Like, If It Exists?

6 thoughts on “What Would Sincere Marketing Look Like, If It Exists?

  1. “I suspect it has to do with not over-promising, with having a clear, concise message that aligns perfectly with the actual product/service and doesn’t exaggerate or aggrandize.” — reply

    That part correct.

    “I would say that this would be found in companies with a strong corporate ethic, environmental companies, and higher-end or possibly some luxury category goods/services. Those that have a strong product/service that stands well on its own don’t have to ‘oversell’ so they would fall into this category I guess” — reply

    That part not necessarly correct as the company could have those qualities – or some of them – and the seller still over-promise, mislead, exaggerate and do all the wrong things.

    I would expect a company with strong corporate ethics let sales staff know in advance what’s expected and not and consequences for not selling properly – using HPS of course.

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  2. Steve Alexander says:

    “Sincere,” marketing would be boring and every ad would be about the same. “We sell xxx and we want to sell a lot of it. We make money by selling xxx, and that provides food, clothing, and shelter for our families.” See? Boring.

    People like to be entertained. Marketing is often entertaining. Witness the popularity of Budweiser commercials. I don’t even like beer, but I watch their commercials.

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  3. Thank you, Carl. I agree. I talk with people on the phone more often then through marketing materials, and I’ve found the best way to gain trust is exactly what you’ve written above.

    The only thing I would add is it’s okay to say what your product doesn’t do. Our product does a lot of what a client wants, but there are things that we don’t do. By mentioning the things we don’t do I either 1) respect my time by identifying a deal breaker early on, or 2) I gain the trust of someone who still wants our product anyway.

    No product does everything. In fact, the nice thing about some products is that they only try to do one thing instead of making it over-complicated with a bzillion features. If you imply that your product does everything, then you can’t build trust. It’s a lie that’s too obvious.

    I’ve always felt that honesty was the most important thing in sales, but I started thinking more about this after taking your courses. Thank you and Jacques for that.

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  4. “People like to be entertained. Marketing is often entertaining. Witness the popularity of Budweiser commercials. I don’t even like beer, but I watch their commercials.”

    So it’s entertaining marketing but NO SALE in your case.

    That tells me that entertaining marketing may have little to nothing to do with sales – sometimes at least.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

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  5. Over my lifetime, I have spent millions of dollars on *direct response* advertising. It is relatively easy to test, track, and determine its effectiveness. It really works to follow the guideline of Carl’s friend (above).

    OTOH, with a couple of exceptions, I have not had much success with mass advertising. Thus, I avoid it, don’t know much about it, and I’m always trying to find ambiguous statements, lies, and the small print.

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  6. Brian Brooker says:

    I agree that insincere marketing isn’t compatible with HPS. Insincere marketing devalues the customer’s interests. That’s why it’s insincere. As a method of inquiry HPS challenges the prospect to disqualify himself. Prospects are self-motivated so we don’t do the motivating.

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