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Thursday, 26 October 2017 20:41

Beware Of Subliminal Messages

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Many organisations have been putting together fairly complex and expensive promotional material, but failing to achieve their goals. 

Several reasons why became abundantly clear to me recently after receiving a follow up call to a promotional newsletter from a marketing organisation.

I did recall receiving a promotional news leaflet with a handwritten note signed with an individual's initials.  I still do not know if the hand writing was original or printed but it certainly struck me as being original at the time.  I thought that it had been sent by one of my clients and I remember being quite surprised at the very poor quality of the leaflet.  Poor quality was not characteristic of this particular client and the poor quality reproduction and poor quality content made me wonder why she had sent the information at all.

Before I had an occasion to speak to this client again, a representative of the marketing organisation called to follow up on the personal note from the company that had sent the leaflet.  Apparently, this company was in the business of advising on sales and marketing strategies and the follow up call was to determine whether I would like to subscribe to their leaflet on sales and marketing.

I explained to the caller that the leaflet had ended up in the waste paper basket because I was thoroughly unimpressed by what appeared to be a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy.  While the content supposedly indicated in depth knowledge of sales and marketing topics (I did not agree with the philosophies), the presentation certainly showed a total lack of any skill in catching the eye of the prospective customer.

I explained my dilemma to the caller who, to her credit, grasped the great difficulty she would have in recovering the situation and politely terminated the discussion.  This made me think: "How often do companies intend to send one message but send another?" 

The answer was not long in coming because, as I drove home early that evening, I noticed a sign on top of a multi-storey building in Brisbane's version of Silicon Valley. It showed the name of a well known computer company in brightly lit red letters shining like a beacon visible for many kilometres.

I assumed that this very large sign was designed to indicate that this was a company of substance, quality and importance.  The only problem was that one of the letters in the sign was flickering on and off like a fluorescent bulb that could not quite make up its mind whether it had any energy left.  Worse still, it was still flickering a week later.

In the computer business, one thing you certainly want to convey to your customers is that you are reliable.  Unfortunately for this company, in our society you cannot get much more unreliable than a faulty light bulb.

How does your image match up with what you deliver?


Image consultants are doing a roaring trade at the moment telling executives that it is no good sprouting forth a message of quality, if your personal appearance presents a "don't care" attitude.  In business, it is important to apply this same principle to every avenue of marketing,  sales, customer service and public relations.  Make sure the customer gets the right message in every way.

Article written by Dr Karel deLaat. http://www.kareldelaat.com/

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Read 930 times Last modified on Monday, 27 November 2017 13:52

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