Newsletter May 2023: Solutions for Leaders
Here is something I want to share with you:
I often see ads that induce feelings of guilt and fear to attract customers to products and services. Meningitis in young children is one guilt-inducing ad. What can happen if parents don't follow the ad's instructions is demonstrated by a toddler with pronounced skin grafts on her legs. Or there is the fear-inducing ad showing senior citizens on a hike while the narrator informs us that anyone over 60 who has had chickenpox is at risk of painful herpes zoster. There are many more like this.
Are these seemingly clever advertisements useful in a world already filled with guilt and fear? It seems adversarial and manipulative. We know that increased stress suppresses the immune system. This opens the door to disease. If the intention is awareness and protection, there must be a better way. Incidentally, I don't remember which organizations were behind these adverts because I didn't care; it's the principle.
We need to market what we make and provide. People who need us must know of our existence—no doubt about it. We can find customers and do well by doing good—no need for threats. When products and services deliver what they promise, relieve suffering and resolve concerns, people are happy to choose us.
Being visible and accessible, recommendations, testimonials, and word of mouth underpin this marketing method. It is a quieter, more powerful, and sustainable method, but it takes longer and requires more effort. It requires continuous innovation and quality management based on customer experience, a dedicated workforce, nurturing networks and relationships, and a culture supporting long-term endeavors. The world will have you believe otherwise, so staying the course can be challenging. The desire for quick wins, cutting corners and trying to emulate others who seem to have made it is human.
As awareness grows, manipulative marketing tactics designed to coerce people into compliance are being exposed by more and more people. Many will still comply. But it is not a lasting victory. It comes with a bitter aftertaste. The tactics of manipulation are becoming all too obvious.
Looking at companies that have survived for generations with consistent leadership values and an understanding of right and wrong, you will see that ethical and good marketing works. And fortunately, we are moving into a time when it will be the only acceptable way to market a business. I am noticing a shift.
Are you noticing it too?
Zarmina P.S. In this spirit, I have redesigned my website to make my services more understandable to those who need them. If my website does not give you the answers you require, I would be delighted to hear your comments or questions. Thank you very much!